Allow me to (re)introduce you to the hardcore Leftists rabble rousing for a full-on government takeover of the World Wide Web.
Theirs is now an all-out push to have the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “Reclassify” the Internet – so as to then impose the utterly unpopular Network Neutrality.
“Reclassification” means unilaterally shoving the Web out from under the existing light-touch Title I rules the 1996 Telecommunications Actplaced upon it – which have allowed it to blossom into the free speech-free market Xanadu we all know and love.
And then slamming it into the Title II heavy-regulatory uber-structure that has for the last seventy-plus years crushed with regs and taxes landline telephones – that well-known bastion of technological and economic innovation.
Does the FCC have the authority to Reclassify? Of course not. But this is the Barack Obama Administration – when has that ever stopped them?
The 1996 Act gave the Web the freedom every person and entity needs to thrive – and it has thrived beyond any and everyone’s wildest dreams.
Because it left the Left bereft of a regulatory hook – by which they can reel it in sport-fish-style – they now want the government to seize the Web, enmeshing it in a landline regulatory nightmare mess.
The people calling for this are ridiculously Leftist. They bear a striking resemblance to – and the heinous patchouli aroma of – the Occupy Wall Street radicals who in 2012 illegally befouled public places all across our nation.
Only these people are far more organized – and thus far more dangerous.
Call this iteration #OccupyTheInternet. Led by the tiny band of Merry Media Marxists known as Free Press.
Say nothing short of Title II classification for Internet access will do.
This is not Free Press’ first attempt at ridiculous Government Internet Power Grab Street Theatre. The last time involved spatulas.
Which was even more absurd than it sounds.
Who is Free Press? For what do they stand? Meet Free Press co-founder and current Board member Robert McChesney.
In addition to teaching college (Heaven help us) and having co-founded Free Press, he was the editor (2000-2004) and is a current board member of Monthly Review, which he himself describes as “one of the most important Marxist publications in the world, let alone the United States.”
McChesney describes their Internet objective thus:
“(T)he ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.”
How very Hugo Chavez of them.
These clowns are of course getting support from the Congressional
Communist Progressive Caucus.
The leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are drafting a letter asking the FCC to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service, a move that would give the agency more flexibility on net neutrality but may be legally or politically difficult.
Reps. Raul Grijalva and Keith Ellison plan to send the letter to the agency next week, and plan to send a dear colleague letter to fellow lawmakers in hopes of garnering more signatories. Their backing of reclassification is significant, since it endorses an alternative to Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal in addition to just criticizing the plan.
Good old Representative Grijalva.
Raul Grijalva’s first documented ties to the Communist Party USA date from 1993, when then-Pima County Board of Supervisors member Grijalva penned an article on NAFTA for the Party’s People’s Weekly World (now People’s World)’s November 13 issue.
These Marxists and their publications.
How do those of us over here in Reality view this government takeover of the Internet? Not quite as highly. Back in 2010 the following Democrat-festooned assemblage united against the same FCC power grab:
299 members of Congress – a large bipartisan majority – have asked you to not reclassify the Internet, and wait for Congress to first write law. (And that was BEFORE the 2010 Republican wave election.)
More than 150 organizations, state legislators and bloggers have asked you to not reclassify the Internet, and wait for Congress to first write law.
Seventeen minority groups– that are almost always in Democrat lockstep – have asked you to not reclassify the Internet, and wait for Congress to first write law.
And many additional normally Democrat paragons have also asked you to not reclassify the Internet, and wait for Congress to first write law. Including:
• Large unions: AFL-CIO, Communications Workers of America (CWA), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
• Racial grievance groups: League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Minority Media and Telecom Council (MMTC), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Urban League.
• Anti-free market environmentalist group the Sierra Club….
Even (former) Massachusetts Democrat Senator (and now Secretary of State) John Kerry…at one point said you do not have the authority.
I would imagine very little has changed for these folks – since nothing about the Left’s Internet assault has.
A massive, overwhelming bipartisan swath of Washington and the nation – or a tiny, uber-radical, Communist-riddled cadre of government expansionists?
Our first glimpse at an answer is Thursday’s Net Neutrality vote.
Editor’s Note: This first appeared in Human Events.