Motley is editor in chief of StopNetRegulation.org, a Center for Individual Freedom publication.
One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, and activist.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
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President Barack Obama is currently contemplating a replacement for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski – who has announced his intention to step down.
Arguably the largest swath is Network Neutrality. Net Neutrality remains a major problem for a free speech-free market Internet – and a source of great anxiety for its Leftist backers.
Genachowski’s FCC in December 2010 imposed it – bereft of any legislative authority to do so. The Chairman and everyone else knew there was no such authority – because the D.C. Circuit Court said so just eight months prior to his again jamming it down on us.
Après Genachowski le déluge – of lawsuits. Verizon, Metro PCS wireless and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli all sued to undo the Net Neutrality power grab. The very same D.C. Circuit will in the fall begin hearing these arguments.
There does the Left’s tension begin. They don’t want to just maintain the Internet turf they’ve usurped – they want to expand upon it. These lawsuits could roll back much of their takings.
The naming of Genachowski’s replacement gives the Left an opportunity to demand the Obama Administration protect the over-reached status quo – and ratchet up the regulatory count.
On a conference call with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal advocacy group,…Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), who is running for the Senate, said…that any new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission must support net-neutrality regulations.
But wait – they want more.
Genachowski’s failure to re-establish the FCC’s authority over broadband was his most significant policy blunder — and the defining moment of his tenure. When a federal court ruling exposed the shortsighted folly of the Bush administration’s decision to change how the FCC regulates broadband, Genachowski should have moved immediately to “reclassify” broadband under the law. But he retreated under a predictable but fact-free industry backlash.
What does it mean to “reclassify” broadband?
(W)hat does President Obama have waiting in the wings for when his Net Neutrality power grab is thrown out?
Meaning – again, without any legal authority whatsoever – President Obama will move the Internet from Title I to Title II. Title II is how the FCC over-regulates landline telephone lines – you know, that bastion of innovation lo these last seventy-plus years. Title II opens up the Pandora’s Box of uber-regulation of the Internet. But wait – there’s more.
Under Title II, President Obama can also begin to tax the Internet – just as the Feds tax landlines, just as they already tax the living daylights out of your wireless Internet – checked your cell phone bill lately? It’s 17.4% – and climbing, an $8 billion total take in 2010 – and hurtling ever upward.
Of course the Left wants more regulation in all directions. They disguise that desire by demanding that the next FCC Chairman push harder for the “public interest.”
The “public interest” is in fact a legislative term which the FCC is charged with taking into consideration when enforcing said policy. A term so nebulous it can mean virtually anything.
For the Media Marxists, its abased meaning is – much more government injected into every form of media and communication, and the demonization and silencing of those who oppose the more government agenda….
The underlying theme throughout is the advancement of as much government as possible – all the while as much as possible disrupting the free market and destroying or silencing those opposed.
All under the fraudulent guise of advancing the “public interest.” By which they of course mean government interest.
After all, Media Marxists are… Marxists. And growing the government interest is what they do.
As bad as the FCC’s Old Boss was, the Left wants the New Boss to be much, much worse.
President Obama’s second-term Cabinet choices have been much further to the Left than their predecessors.
- Secretary of State: Hillary Clinton to John Kerry.
- Secretary of Defense: Leon Panetta to Chuck Hagel.
- Secretary of Labor: Hilda Solis to Thomas Perez.
So, sadly, Leftists will likely get their wish at the FCC.
[First published at RedState]