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, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
- 5G Wireless Makes Net Neutrality Even Dumber Policy - September 16, 2019
- When Deregulation – Actually Makes Things Worse - August 29, 2019
- Localities Shouldn’t Be Dictating (Inter-)National Policy - July 17, 2019
The United States is a Constitutional republic. What does that mean?:
“A constitutional republic is a state where the head of state and other officials are elected as representatives of the people, and must govern according to existing constitutional law that limits the government’s power over citizens. In a constitutional republic, executive, legislative, and judicial powers are separated into distinct branches and the will of the majority of the population is tempered by protections for individual rights so that no individual or group has absolute power.”
These divisions of government were emplaced here by our Founders – to also protect We the People from government. Each branch is supposed to serve its limited role – in the whole. When one branch starts doing things another branch is supposed to be doing – things quickly go awry, and government gets very big.
Our Legislative Branch – is tasked with legislating. And only the Legislative Branch is so tasked. Its officials – whom We the People elect – write the laws under which we live.
The Executive Branch – is headed by the President we elect. Who signs the laws passed by the Legislative. And then his Branch – executes. Millions (ugh, yes, millions) of unelected bureaucrats implement the laws written – as written. No more, no less.
No Executive Branch agency can write a single regulation – unless they are first tasked with so doing by the laws of the Legislative Branch. And they must write the regs within the confines of the laws of the Legislative Branch. Anything else – and they are performing a cheap imitation of the Legislative Branch. Constitutionally – no bueno.
Our federal register – the government’s catalogue of regulations – grows by thousands of pages every year (until, it appears, the arrival of President Donald Trump, God bless him.) Under ex-president Barack Obama the register grew exponentially – during a time of historic Congressional deadlock and inactivity.
Which means these tens of thousands of pages of new regulations – were nearly all added completely untethered to any legislation. That’s the Executive – pretending to be the Legislative. Constitutionally – no bueno.
One of the ways these agencies attempt to cover up their unilateral power grabs – is with a veneer of alleged We the People participation. Behold the utter dumbness of the “Comment Period.”
Of course, the Comment Period is entirely and solely Democracy Theater. (Again, we’re a republic, not a democracy.) Again, if the government wants to do something new – the process has to begin with legislation by the Legislative Branch. Not bureaucratic fiats by Executive Branch agencies.
The Comment Periods – are just dumb. Again, these bureaucrats aren’t elected. And they are under no obligation whatsoever to have the comments you file – affect at all what they’re about to do to you.
If the comments favor the power grab they are about to execute – they trumpet the results, and move forward as planned. If the comments oppose – they ignore the results, and move forward as planned.
And this nonsense – allows for much additional nonsense by outside pro-government Leftist groups. They get to turn the Democracy Theater – into Kabuki Theater. They enlist their armies of uninformed nonsense-spewers – to spew their nonsense into the comment process.
To wit: The current cavalcade of inanity being shoved at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Trump’s FCC is in the process of undoing a huge Obama FCC power grab. Internet reclassification – to absurdly subject the Web to 1934 landline telephone law – so as to then impose the absurd Network Neutrality.
A HUGE power grab – and titanically stupid policy. The Trump Commission is absolutely correct in undoing all of it. Because they are – we can count on the pro-government Leftist groups to screech bellicosely in opposition.
It’s Official: Trump and Pai Plan to Destroy Net Neutrality: “Help Save Net Neutrality: Send a Comment to the FCC.”
(Pai – is Trump’s FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.)
But the Comment Period results – have only served to reveal how dumb the Comment Period is. Oh – and how violent and racist the Leftists are.
And let’s be honest – Net Neutrality is a relatively little-known, fairly complex issue.
Which yet again proves that this bureaucratic Comment Period – is just dumb. If they don’t know what it is – why have them comment upon it? Why have any portion of the bureaucracy’s decision predicated upon the results?
If Net Neutrality is so important to We the People – impose it the way the Constitution mandates it be imposed. Have our elected Legislative Branch officials convince us we need it – and then write law emplacing it. Pass it through both Legislative houses – and have the President sign it.
And then – and only then – have the FCC impose it. Strictly and solely within the confines of the law directing the FCC to impose it.
At this point, finally, nearly everyone is clambering aboard the Constitutional approach.
ISP, Edge Groups Talk Net Neutrality Legislation: “House Energy & Commerce Republican leadership got together, both in person and by phone, with the major trade associations on both sides of the net neutrality issue Monday in a series of meetings throughout the day to discuss possible legislative pathways to clarifying the FCC’s network neutrality authority.”
Which only leaves the hardcore anti-Constitutionalists demanding the power grab path.
There’s just no pleasing some radical, pro-government, anti-Constitution people.
Originally Published at Red State