Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski has a bit of reputation for not liking conflict – and avoiding it whenever possible.
An excellent way of attempting to do this is to say whatever it is each person with whom you engage wishes to hear – even if consecutive conversations require diametrically opposite assertions.
The people with whom you speak all walk away happy, each thinking you’re a swell guy. And you can continue doing exactly what it is you want to do.
Like, say, shoving through in unauthorized fashion overly oppressive Network Neutrality regulations.
As we have previously discussed, President Barack Obama does – and will be doing – this sort of double dealing all the time. (He’ll also repeatedly do it with his oath of office – as again demonstrated by his abdicating his responsibility to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act.)
Let us now take a look at Chairman Genachowski’s recent public statements on the subject of Net Neutrality.
Starting with what should have been the end of this entire FCC power grab fiasco. In the October 3rd Washington Post, Genachowski said:
“…(W)e have a Communications Act that wasn’t written for broadband.”
Game over, one would think. The FCC can’t regulate anything unless and until Congress writes a law that says “Hey FCC – regulate this.” And here we have the Chairman of the FCC admitting that Congress has never done this on broadband.
The overwhelmingly Democrat Congress that was at that time convened agreed with Genachowski’s public admission – in large bipartisan fashion. 302 of them, in fact, expressed their opposition – including more than 80 of Genachowski’s fellow Democrats.
And then there was the D.C. Circuit Court, which last April unanimously ruled that the FCC doesn’t have the authority to regulate broadband.
But why should all that opposition – including his own – stop Genachowski? In fact, it didn’t.
As a Christmas present to the Bigger Government world, Genachowski had his Democrat-majority FCC vote in 3-2 partisan fashion to impose broadband Net Neutrality regulations – in direct contravention of the Circuit Court and the 300+ Congressmen with whom he had so recently agreed.
Since then, Genachowski’s statements have been all over the place. Whatever needed to be said to whoever needed to hear it.
The pressure point was the February 16th Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing to investigate the Net Neutrality ruling – called by new Republican Chairman Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR).
The American people had just handed the Republicans 60+ new House seats and the majority because they did not like the Democrats’ vast governmental overreaching – of the kind Chairman Genachowski executed this Yuletide season after said Smaller Government election.
In advance of the convening, the Chairman was scrambling.
No contradiction there – seeing as broader broadband deployment is the lynchpin to more Internet gigs and the Chairman just unilaterally imposed huge, undefined and indefinable new regulations.
He should start by debating himself.
But at the Congressional hearing, Genachowski wasn’t in a debating mood. He was again all things to all people.
Let us look at but one answer he gave – to Illinois Republican Representative Michael Kinzinger, who asked the Chairman a very reasonable question. Why – when you and just about everyone else on Planet Earth said you didn’t have Congressional authority to impose Net Neutrality – did you impose Net Neutrality?
Genachowski’s answer was at once sycophantic and schizophrenic.
“We continue to be available as a resource to work with Congress on legislation that would provide certainty and address issues around broadband. So, that is our job and we look forward to being a resource to Congress.”
What an annoying and obnoxious answer this is.
Mister Chairman, you can’t “continue to be…a resource to work with Congress” if 302 members of a Democrat-majority Congress told you not to impose Net Neutrality – and you imposed Net Neutrality anyway. You weren’t “work(ing) with Congress” – you were working against them.
And you rushed the Christmas power grab vote to get it in before the new Republican-richer and even more opposed Congress was sworn in. Not very “resource”-ful of you.
By pretending to be amenable to legislation – which you aren’t, else you would have waited – “that would provide certainty” you are tacitly admitting your Web usurpation – which you absurdly asserted would provide certainty – did no such thing.
Two lawsuits (and counting) and multiple pieces of legislation seeking to undo the order – which you had to know were inevitable – provide chaos, not certainty – which you had to know was the inevitable outcome.
And if it is “certainty” and “light-touch regulation” you really want – why is the total Internet takeover Title II reclassification order still open?
Saying whatever whoever is in front of you wants to hear only works for so long. Eventually, a dossier is built – and the inconsistencies become increasingly glaring.
Then candidate-Obama successfully ran in 2008 as the “I’m Whoever You Want Me to Be” nominee. Two plus years in, we know who he really is – regardless of whatever he continues to say.
Likewise, Chairman Genachowski’s “Aw Shucks” façade has – as a result of his actions – fallen away, revealing a pronounced Bigger Government ideologue.
This is unquestionably the “Forget What We Say, Watch What We Do” Administration.