The Post's Jose DelReal explains why Affordable Care Act architect Jonathan Gruber's year-old comments about the historic law have Republicans so angry. (Jose A. DelReal and Nicki DeMarco/The Washington Post)

Rule No. 1 of modern politics: Never, ever say anything on camera that you wouldn’t be comfortable saying to your enemies.

Like, for example, saying this about the Affordable Care Act: “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the ‘stupidity of the American voter’ or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.”

That was Jonathan Gruber, who served as a consultant in the drafting of the ACA (and the 2006 Massachusetts law on which it was largely based), during a panel discussion at the Annual Health Economics Conference in October 2013.

Those comments surfaced online — stunning! — this past week, and Gruber went from a nerdy MIT economist whom only people in health-care circles knew to the poster boy for opponents of Obamacare everywhere.

Gruber, Republicans insisted, was saying what they have suspected all along: that Obamacare was made purposely opaque so it could pass Congress. “The architect of ObamaCare says it passed because voters are stupid,” tweeted Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who faces Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) in a Dec. 6 Senate runoff. (Democrats insisted that Gruber was far from the “architect” of the law and that he played more of an advisory role in the process.)

Gruber quickly apologized, telling MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow that he had been “speaking off the cuff.” Too late. He had already become a household name — and just days after the Supreme Court announced that it would hear a new challenge to the health-care law.

Jonathan Gruber, for becoming a pawn in the never-ending battle over the Affordable Care Act, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.

Each week, Chris Cillizza awards the worst week in Washington to an inhabitant of Planet Beltway who stands out for all the wrong reasons. You can check out previous winners or e-mail Cillizza with candidates. You can also read more from Outlook and follow our updates on Facebook and Twitter.