Dover Bitch

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Being a senator is difficult

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has been all over the Net Neutrality issue and finds this gem:

Others on the committee questioned the need for "preemptive" action against a problem they're not convinced exists. If the discrimination that Net neutrality advocates fear does occur, such a public outcry will develop that "the chairman will be required to hold this meeting in this largest room in the Capitol, and there will be lines wandering all the way down to the White House," said Delaware Democrat Joseph Biden.

First of all, if the discrimination DB fears will occur does in fact come to fruition, the public outcry will be stifled. That's the entire point. And this blogger, for one, doesn't look forward to standing in a line to demand that Congress get off it's ass to restore the public's ability to communicate freely over the Internet. When they take away our rights, they don't give them back.

Then there's this:

[Arlen] Specter, for one, indicated that he would prefer looking at the issue on a "case-by-case" basis rather than issuing a "general rule" about what network operators can and cannot do--an approach favored by Internet companies. He said it may be more productive to negotiate less formal "standards" for network access with the players involved because writing new laws is "extraordinarily difficult, candidly, when you have the giants on both sides of these issues."

Are you kidding? Case-by-case? Where will they find the time with all the flags that have to be flame-retarded and gays that have to be kept single? Or will they leave it up to the "trial lawyers" and "judicial activists" to decide?

But by all means, don't write a new law, especially if it's going to be "extraordinarily difficult." Even if Senators Snowe and Dorgan have already written one for you.

And the worst part of Specter's nonsense is "when you have the giants on both sides of these issues." Maybe for just once in his miserable term, Specter ought to think about the people who aren't giants. Like the small business owner who won't stand a chance if Wal-Mart has paid for the Internet traffic to come their way.

In fact, the giants on one side of the issue wouldn't even exist today were it not for the level playing field that created the opportunities for them. If Specter wants to punt on the issue, then he should vote for the Snowe-Dorgan bill and leave the Internet the way it's been since the Web was born.

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