Tea Party chooses corporate control vs government oversight

In the debate over Internet neutrality, Tea Party and other conservative activists have aligned their interests with those of major telecommunications companies…

Last month, many of the groups represented at Glenn Beck’s rally at the Lincoln Memorial, including Tea Party activists and Americans for Prosperity members, wrote to the Federal Communications Commission asking it to abandon attempts to regulate the Internet.

They oppose net neutrality — the notion that the federal government should establish rules of the road to prevent companies from indiscriminately blocking or slowing traffic for their own competitive advantage.

They asked the agency considering regulating it under Title II of the Communications Act to stop pursuing what they called “a massive regulatory regime that would stifle broadband expansion, create congestion, slow Internet speeds, jeopardize job retention and growth and lead to higher prices for consumers…”

“People no longer think it’s strange that the majority of the U.S. House is telling the Federal Communications Commission not to have authority over the dominant 21st century communications platform,” said Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press, which advocates net neutrality.

Members of Congress take donations from corporate lobbyists to “fund” their decision-making. Know-nothing teabaggers rely on corporate ideologues to “guide” their feckless activities. Same suit – different street.

Americans for Prosperity Rally
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

Silver says that the letter from conservative Tea Party and AFP activists is an Astroturf campaign — a phony grassroots effort sponsored by the phone or cable companies or their proxies.

Every group that’s coming out against net neutrality — every group save a handful of libertarians — are on the take,” said Silver. “They’re receiving massive amounts of money from the phone and or cable companies to take their position … Everybody in Washington knows this is happening…”

For Tea Party activists who think the government is already too heavily involved in private affairs, the issue of net neutrality is deceptively simple — the government should keep its hands off the Internet. But that position contains a potentially profound unintended consequence for an Internet-based grassroots movement: getting inferior service or paying more to get premium service…

The broadband companies maintain they are private services — not companies using the public airwaves or public utilities linking the country together by telephone lines –and should be permitted to do as they please.

Yes, it sounds like sub-prime mortgages all over again.

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