The American people in November overwhelmingly, historically rebuked President Barack Obama, his policies and his unilateral practices.
The President his own self primed the pump for the election as a referendum – on him.
President Obama has for years benefitted greatly from then-Senate Majority Leader (Democrat) Harry Reid serving as a preemptive veto of most things legislation.
This Do-Nothing-Democrat-Senate allowed Democrats and the media (please pardon the redundancy) to foster a phony “Do Nothing Congress”storyline. Which the President gladly, disingenuously exploited:
The President has acted unilaterally throughout – well beyond the Executive Branch bounds proscribed by the Constitution.
These Presidential fiats beget regulations. Lots and lots and LOTS of regulations.
These regulations cost us money. Lots and lots and LOTS of money.
This brings us to the Internet. Per law passed by Congress – the Telecommunications Act of 1996 – the Internet is a relatively regulation-free zone. Which is why it is a free speech-free market Xanadu – dynamically, constantly evolving into an ever more-perfect organism.
The 1996 Act classifies the Internet as a Title I thing – Title I being the light-touch portion of the law. Landline phones, on the other hand, are uber-over-regulated under Title II – which is why hardlines have for decades been basically innovation-free zones.
Which brings us to the Left’s fetish – and their current push for – Network Neutrality.
The Executive Branch’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has already twice tried to impose Net Neutrality within the confines of law-proscribed Title I. And twice been unanimously rebuked by the D.C. Circuit Court – for lacking the authority to do so under Title I.
Does pro-Net Neutrality President Obama seek to have Congress rewrite the law to give the FCC the additional authority necessary to impose Net Neutrality? Of course not.
Behold – another Obama fiat. He wants his FCC to impersonate Congress and rewrite the law themselves.
Surely pro-Net Neutrality Democrats in Congress will protect their purview as legislators, right? Of course not.
“The FCC can and should take strong action… We would forcefully oppose any reforms that would undermine the FCC’s authority to act to adopt meaningful net neutrality rules to protect consumers.”
Get that? Democrats say Congress shouldn’t do Congress’ job – because that would prohibit the FCC from illegally doing Congress’ job.
As recently as 2010, there were Democrats who were a little more appreciative of the gigs for which they ran. Oh – and the Constitution.
A slew of House Democrats have sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission warning the agency not to go forward with its plan to partially reclassify ISPs as common carriers, a move needed to impose net neutrality rules.
Meanwhile, when the FCC contemplates new regulations it is supposed to have a public Comment Period. To allow us to register our discontent – before they go ahead and power grab anyway.
Democrat FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler last year proposed a third attempt at Net Neutrality imposition under Title I – and had two Comment Periods therefore.
The first was an ObamaCare-website-esque technological disaster.
During which the FCC played favorites – helping the Left file their Comments when the website repeatedly went down.
And the second Comment Period was overwhelmingly won by the proponents of Less Government.
During which the government’s alleged Web experts yet again couldn’t manage their website.
That’s ok – Amazon loses hundreds of thousands of orders per month, right?
Since then, best guesses have Chairman Wheeler fundamentally altering the proposal on which we twice Commented. Dramatically expanding the power grab to a Title II reclassification unilateral law-rewrite – and scheduling a February internal FCC vote without any Comment Period on the new regulations.
The timing indicates Wheeler does not see the need for more public input on the benefits and drawbacks of using Title II, as earlier reports suggested.
So during Comment Period Round One the FCC aided and abetted the Left – because the government’s alleged technical experts repeatedly failed to keep their website up and running.
The Free Marketeers won Round Two going away – without any government assistance whatsoever. And it may have been an even bigger blowout – we don’t know because the government’s “experts” misplaced nearly a million Comments.
So while it’s obnoxious and maybe illegal to now blow us off without Comment, we can see why Chairman Wheeler doesn’t want to again open that can of worms. Because – transparency.
Oh – and the FCC’s unelected bureaucrat voting composition looks absolutely nothing like the newly minted Congress We the People just ensconced. There are five voting FCC Commissioners (one of whom also serves as Chairman). Three are of the President’s Party – two of the opposing Party. So right now the FCC is 3-2 Democrat.
I wonder how this Internet power grab vote is going to go?
All elections matter, but some matter more than others. A national election of historic proportions is about to be trumped by an obscure vote by three Democrat regulators. For whom none of us ever voted – and of whom most of us have never heard.
Yet another part of the President’s ongoing effort to fundamentally transform our once-representative republic.
Editor’s Note: This first appeared in Red State.