The Pro-Network Neutrality ‘Coalition’ is Collapsing
It’s last call at Club Network Neutrality. The crowd supporting this government Internet land grab is rapidly thinning. The latest two to head for the exits each deal a huge blow to the media “reform” cause - for different reasons.
The first is Big Search mogul Google. By its sheer size, power and sphere of influence it is a major player in the Net Neutrality (NN) debate – and they have been pro-NN. But Google’s recent deal with Verizon – which deviates slightly from puritanical NN tenets – was a bridge too far for the pro-NN crowd.
So Google became the latest to receive the sad, tired “You Are Evil” treatment the Left reflexively delivers against their political opponents. Google probably wasn’t all the way out the door on their own - but they may be now, shoved through by the subtle, soft-spoken pro-NN forces.
If so, we say welcome to the Great Outside – let’s do lunch.
The second was the conservative group Gun Owners of America (GoA). Though not the monster entity Google is, their departure is important because it weakens substantially the pro-NN case that the partisan push to over-regulate the Internet isn’t partisan.
Anything championed by the likes of Free Press, MoveOn.org and ACORN is almost certainly non-partisan, is it not?
But this breakdown of Net Neutrality support isn’t (just) a recent phenomenon. This has been a four-year slow-motion train wreck – that began almost at the beginning.
Both Google and Gun Owners of America were members of the original 2006 coalition It’s Our Net - which boasted 148 partners. Just one year later, they’d "reconstituted in a different form" with a broader focus and were rechristened the Open Internet Coalition (OIC). But that entity had just 74 members - a huge loss of support in but one year. This despite the broader focus – which you would think would lead to more participants, not less.
Additionally indicative of the loss of mojo was their shift of concentration away from Congress and to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – at the very moment the Democrats were taking over both Houses of Congress.
Despite the new majorities with which to work, the pro-NN caucus chose instead to try for Net Neutrality implementation via FCC regulatory fiat – this after spending considerable time and energy trying for (the proper path of) NN legislation in the then Republican-controlled Congress.
It was becoming readily apparent that the pro-NN push was a narrow, unpopular and partisan effort. As the “movement” continued to sputter, the players started falling back on the bromides Leftists throw to ward of further damage.
The Marxists at Free Press – the leaders of the media “reform” movement - played the bipartisan card:
“The national coalition that supports Net Neutrality includes such ‘far-left elements’ as the Christian Coalition, The Gun Owners of America and the American Library Association.”
“[Net neutrality is] a measure that has support from groups across the political spectrum” (Democrat Underground, MoveOn.org, AfterDowningStreet.org, and Common Cause on the left, Glenn Reynolds, the Christian Coalition, and the Gun Owners of America on the right.)
But that too is tattered, with the departure of the oft-cited GoA – who are unequivocal in their new position:
"We are 100% opposed to" net neutrality regulations.
Tough hair to split.
And then there’s the fraudulent support. The OIC recently put together a “coalition” letter that included some unusual signers – including the Dr. Pepper Museum in Texas and Operation Catnip – a pet spay and neuter place in Florida. Who when asked responded that they didn’t really know much about the issue, or the letter - or in some cases the fact that their names had been added to it.
All the while, anti-NN opposition has grown, and grown, and grown. Included therein are more than 284 members of Congress – from both Parties, more than 150 organizations, state legislators and bloggers, seventeen minority groups, and the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court – led by a Democrat-appointee.
In short, the lights have been turned up in Club Net Neutrality, and it isn’t a pretty sight. The members of the ever-dwindling pro-NN “movement” certainly can’t like what they’re seeing.