I don’t know about you, but when I heard the news Monday that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski had announced plans to formalize net neutrality principles, Kay Bailey Hutchison and the Texas gubernatorial race were the farthest things from my mind.
But within just a couple of hours KBH was swaggering around on Twitter, throwing down trash talk.
#KBH leading fight against #Obama #netneurality overregulation of Internet. More job killing regs from WH. http://tinyurl.com/n2g859 #tcot
4:43pm, Monday September 22
So it was “Team Kay,” not Kay herself, and she was actually just one of a group of particularly slimy Republicans: John Ensign, Sam Brownback, David Vitter, Jim DeMint, and John Thune, but as ranking member of the Commerce Committee, I guess she gets to say she’s “leading the fight.” She hooked a quickie amendement onto a funding bill for the Interior Department that would forbid the FCC to use any funds:
(1) to implement any internet neutrality or network management
principles; or (2) to promulgate any rules relating to such principles.
Sure, she’s still acting as a sitting Senator but I see this as part of the already ginned-up Texas gubernatorial circus. Gov. Goodhair has been painting KBH as a big spending, big government, centrist federalista. Jumping on this gives her the opportunity to act like a “real” Republican. Hell, calling net neutrality “overregulation” is almost as good as calling President Obama a racist, and even though she previously voted for the bailout and S-CHIP, this is a good way to prove she still hates hippies.
Thing is, the press release for all this fight-leading was a tad bitschizophrenic.
Oddly, Hutchison’s press release seems to define “net neutrality” as something the senator supports.
Net neutrality refers to policies that promote the
internet as an open platform for innovation and economic growth, while
discouraging intentional discrimination against particular content or
applications. These basic principles have been in place for years and
have successfully spurred major advances in content, applications and
performance with minimal government involvement.
And that’s … a bad thing?
But a Hutchison staff member, speaking on background, says the
language is in keeping with the senator’s belief that the internet
currently is open and working well, and that the market has fixed
itself, after a small number of high-profile cases.
Actually, the language was in keeping with stenography, dictation straight out of the mouth of the telcos:
“I am deeply concerned by the direction the FCC appears to be heading,”
said Hutchison in a statement. “Even during a severe downturn, America
has experienced robust investment and innovation in network performance
and online content and applications. For that innovation to continue,
we must tread lightly when it comes to new regulations. Where there
have been a handful of questionable actions in the past on the part of
a few companies, the Commission and the marketplace have responded
“Innovation” is what gives it away. The anti-net neutrality forces have done their best to lay ownership to the word. Because throttling bandwidth is exactly the same as creating new and better ways to do things.
I guess if she loses to Goodhair, she’ll be able to pick up some bucks by doing ads for AT&T.