Why the Senate's net neutrality fumble is so much less news than it should have been

Why the Senate's net neutrality fumble is so much less news than it should have been

Summary: The Senate failed to get anything done. Again. This time, they failed to undo toothless net neutrality news. Are you proud of your politicians yet? Yeah, neither are we.

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The big news in technology politics yesterday was the Senate's attempt to undo the so-called net neutrality rules that were approved by the FCC last December.

See also: Net neutrality? More like neutered neutrality.

As it turns out, even though the House approved overturning the toothless net neutrality rules, the Senate -- not completely controlled by the Republicans -- was unable to come up with a majority.

This, sadly, is so not newsworthy.

First, as has been the case for the last twenty years or so, the party in power (to some degree that's the GOP now) always tries to undo the stuff that the party out of power did, back when it was in power -- regardless of whether the stuff done was good, bad, or in the case of our current net neutrality regulations, completely and totally meh.

As I wrote last year, the FCC passed a set of net neutrality rules governing wired communication -- right at a time when everything is going wireless. The FCC carefully managed to avoid doing anything to protect our citizens from predatory actions by the wireless carriers because, among other things, the wireless carriers have one heck of a lobby in D.C.

No matter. Because they were put in place by a Democratically appointed FCC chairman, the GOP considered the regulations bad, and wanted to overturn them. Now, please note that this doesn't mean the GOP was going to step up to the plate to pass good or effective net neutrality regulations.

Nope, it just meant they were just being pissy and combative, because that's pretty much all that our politicians are good at doing these days.

And, they failed.

So, pretty much same ol' same ol'.

Like I said, there's no news here. Nothing to see. Move along.

The Senate failed to get anything done. Again. This time, they failed to undo toothless net neutrality news. Are you proud of your politicians yet? Yeah, neither are we.

Topics: Government US, Government

About

David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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  • RE: Why the Senate's net neutrality fumble is so much less news than it should have been

    The sad thing is this: unlike the wired world, there is limited wireless specturm and what is available is leased by the government. So there is even greater justification for true net neutrality in the wireless world than the wired world.

    Still, we live in an effective plutocracy and Washingon is a playground for lobbyists and prostitutes who write legislation on the side.
    dsf3g
    • RE: Why the Senate's net neutrality fumble is so much less news than it should have been

      @dsf3g
      "...Washingon is a playground for lobbyists and prostitutes who write legislation on the side. "

      That's awesome, I'm using that, but I'll give props to dsf3g when I do!
      pigmeat
    • RE: Why the Senate's net neutrality fumble is so much less news than it should have been

      @dsf3g <br><br>Excellent comment, but please note that prostitutes provide an actual service for fee (plus unamusing collateral hazards). Politicians do not provide an actual service. Remember, with one you may get laid, but with the other, you'll always get screwed.
      ideation1
      • RE: Why the Senate's net neutrality fumble is so much less news than it should have been

        @ideation@... <br>+1
        hkommedal
  • RE: Why the Senate's net neutrality fumble is so much less news than it should have been

    Yeah, it's tough when you can't undo the news.
    Vesicant
  • RE: Why the Senate's net neutrality fumble is so much less news than it should have been

    In what way is the GOP the "party in power?" The House has a Republican majority, the Senate has a Democrat majority, the Executive Branch is Democrat.
    tfraymond
    • Long live The Other Guys

      Your Ministry of Truth reminds you that if something undesireable happens, the Republicans are in power. Even Senate [b]Majority[/b] Leader Harry Reid is a Republican if something we don't like happens.

      Why do you think they call it [i]journalism[/i]?
      Robert Hahn
      • What?

        @Robert Hahn
        Sen. Reid is a Democrat. Always has been.
        John L. Ries
      • apparently a sarc tag was needed...

        @Robert Hahn - for the terminally serious, you forgot your /sarc tag
        peter.bittle
      • Geez, John L. Ries, I'm embarrased for you.

        Did you forget to put your reading comprehension glasses on today?
        adornoe
    • Technically correct

      @tfraymond
      The senate has a slim majority for the democrats but, the republicans have been able to keep anything from moving forwards using filibuster. The polarization paralyzes everything.
      sboverie
      • RE: Why the Senate's net neutrality fumble is so much less news than it should have been

        @sboverie@... Paralyzed government is sometimes the best government. I wish it had been paralyzed back when they foisted Obamacare upon us. We will rue the day that the government was not paralyzed when that happened.
        FinanceBuzz
      • The democrats perfected the craft of polarization, and, now, it's standard

        practice. <br><br>To democrats, and apparently to you, it's okay to be the party of 'no' and polarization when they're in power, but it's pure evil when the republicans use the same tactics. <br><br>Hypocrites!
        adornoe
    • RE: Why the Senate's net neutrality fumble is so much less news than it should have been

      @tfraymond

      As a matter of civility in discourse, can we refer to the parties as the "Republican" and "Democratic" parties? The "Democrat" reference is a dead giveaway. That nit aside, I'm still annoyed that the two ineffective parties abide by a gentleman's rule that all legislation effectively requires a 60% majority to pass - what's up with that?
      Biotechguy
      • RE: Why the Senate's net neutrality fumble is so much less news than it should have been

        @Biotechguy
        The reason for the 60% figure is that it takes into account a possible veto override which is 2/3. Most bills are a simple majority but they like the higher prcent to send the message they can override. Some types of bills by law require a 60% majority (super majority) to pass based on the law.
        MikeBytes
      • MikeBytes: The only thing that requires a 60% majority...

        @Biotechguy <br>...is invocation of cloture (closing debate). Under the (now rarely used) default rules of the Senate, any senator can speak as long as he likes and a vote can't be taken until everybody is done talking.<br><br>It used to be that filibusters were rare, but now the mere threat of one is sufficient to kill a bill, unless cloture can be invoked, and threats are made frequently. The only way (IMHO) to stop it is for the Majority Leader (regardless of party) to start calling bluffs and to allow real filibusters to go forward (and insist that a quorum be present at all times), thus imposing a cost on obstructionist behavior.
        John L. Ries
      • Denial of legitimacy

        @Biotechguy <br>It seems that one of the unwritten rules of party loyalty is to never acknowledge the legitimacy of the opposition. The insistence of many Republicans on never referring to the Democratic Party by its proper name is part of it, but also refusing to refer to opposition politicians by title, thus declining to admit that they actually hold office. There are other such practices.<br><br>Supporters of both parties play these sorts of games, but Republicans do it more than Democrats, and that's been true since at least the Civil War.<br><br>Edit: I shouldn't have made the last statement, as it is actually irrelevant. What is relevant is that a large number of people (on both the right and the left) regard politics as a form of cold war and completely deny the right of others to disagree with them. The attitude is completely incompatible with the concept of free elections and representative government, and *will* destroy our constitutional system if it persists and becomes general. We've already had one civil war because a large part of the population of the USA refused to accept the results of a free election in 1860; it *can* happen again.<br><br>Reply to Adornoe: I don't need a survey. I've been hearing Republicans say "Democrat Party" all my life and I've been hearing people of both parties use the last names of opposing politicians as a form of profanity for a good 25 years or so, (which is why I insist on referring to elected officials by their proper titles, even if I don't like them). Its' a way of denying legitimacy and always has been. I note that you personally adhere to both of the practices I mention (which is probably why you're offended).<br><br>Even totalitarians are happy to accept the results of a free election if it comes out their way. Representative government (by whatever name) depends on everybody accepting the outcome, even if they don't like it.
        John L. Ries
      • John L. Ries: Where do you get so much nonsense from?

        Or, do you get a lot of pleasure from making things up?

        Can you find or quote from a survey to back up you assertions about republicans denying the legitimacy of democrats and refusing to address by their titles or the democratic party by it's real name?

        If anything, it's the complete opposite of what you state.

        But, here again, you're demonstrating your allegiance to your party and defending it like it's your duty. But, when it comes to lying and delegitimizing, not just republicans, but anyone that disagrees with them, the democrats are the experts and the most experienced at it, and the ones that do it with impunity and joy.
        adornoe
      • John L. Ries: You're still saying the same things, and you're still wrong..

        What you perceive is tainted by your prejudices, and you are obviously, a democrat, even if you can't bring yourself to admit it openly. <br><br>But, you haven't undone my argument, and you can't. <br><br>So, what I said is still true, and here goes:<br><br> <br>Do you get a lot of pleasure from making things up?<br><br><i>Can you find or quote from a survey to back up you assertions about republicans denying the legitimacy of democrats and refusing to address by their titles or the democratic party by it's real name?<br><br>If anything, it's the complete opposite of what you state.<br><br>But, here again, you're demonstrating your allegiance to your party and defending it like it's your duty. But, when it comes to lying and delegitimizing, not just republicans, but anyone that disagrees with them, the democrats are the experts and the most experienced at it, and the ones that do it with impunity and joy.</i>
        adornoe
    • RE: Why the Senate's net neutrality fumble is so much less news than it should have been

      @tfraymond Because the Senate can block anything that the House and President try to do. Have you seen the news lately?
      thombone