If you want an open Internet, one where you're not being blackmailed by phone monopolists at every turn, whether you're trying to download or upload, then you better vote Democratic next year.
And let candidates know why.
That's the only lesson I can draw from the Justice Department's decision yesterday encouraging Verizon and AT&T, which control both the core and the last mile of the American Internet, to tell net neutrality advocates to suck on it, that they've got the monopolists' back.
Let's be clear who we're talking about here. We're talking about the Bush Justice Department, the Alberto Gonzalez Justice Department. The people who justified mass wiretapping, torture, the use of justice as a political weapon, and on and on.
Anyone who thinks this is the end of the matter, or who like Declan McCullagh wants to wash their hands of this or say "a pox on both their houses" needs to get a grip.
Today McCullagh offers a classic "concern troll" piece in which he manages to blame Nancy Pelosi, net neutrality advocates and "partisan gridlock" for what is not only a Republican political hit, but one of a piece with every other action by the Bush Administration concerning technology since it came to office.
It's not coincidence, nor is it elite consensus, that has caused the Bell monopolies to be re-built in this decade, this time without regulation, that has allowed these same companies control of vital Internet resources, and that has allowed rigged auctions to give the same companies control of the nation's wireless spectrum.
It was policy. It was a political choice made by our political leaders.
The result is that the U.S. broadband market has been strangled while other nations have rocketed ahead. Such actions have consequences -- economic, social, educational. Consequences which will take years to manifest themselves.
The Bush Administration reversed policies which, in other countries, have been proven to work. Instead of competition, we have a duopoly, which hands out bandwidth through a straw, which defines all bits as "services" it controls, and which must be forced to change through political struggle.
This means holding the political party which talked about competition and delivered monopoly accountable for what has happened. And demanding, in ways candidates understand, that we're not going to suck on this anymore.
This is no time for Declan McCullagh's version of high Broderism. It's time to get mad, time to plot getting even. I think Google, Microsoft, and the rest of the tech sector understands this now.
Sometimes there is just one way to speak truth to power. Sometimes you have to take a stand.