Net Neutrality Wins Iowa

Cross-posted on OpenLeft

In mid-November, Barack Obama laid down some truly remarkable and transformative proposals for the internet, including a strong embrace of net neutrality.  Edwards also put out a series of similar policy ideas embracing openness and net neutrality, chiming in during the very imporant 700 megahertz auction of the public airwaves. Clinton, by contrast, laid out a set of proposals written by telecom lobbyists that did not include net neutrality, drawing praise from telecom shill Scott Cleland.  Obama has a stable of experienced and savvy progressive telecom talent to appoint to the FCC, whereas Clinton will probably put a top fundraiser, Susan Ness, who is loved by the broadcasters (not a good sign).  The FCC is the body that can simply implement net neutrality and open access, reverse media consolidation, and change our communications infrastructure to put power closer to the people.

Interestingly enough, on the right, Mike Huckabee has embraced net neutrality at least in concept, whereas every other Republican has not.  First on a conference call with bloggers, and then on a Tech President video, Huckabee analogized the internet to the highway system and decried a two tiered set of controls.  It's not a full-throated embrace, but it's pretty close.  And this makes sense - the Save the Internet coalition included both Moveon and the Christian Coalition, and the Christian Coalition was attacked by the economic conservatives for their stance, which foreshadowed the fight within the Republican primary.  Evangelicals have long disliked big media, and big media and their economic representatives have reciprocated the dislike.  Take this piece from Dick Armey in July, 2006.

Sadly, this is not the first time leadership at the Christian Coalition of America has sided with the forces of big government and against good sense and the rest of the conservative movement.

This sounds very much like Richard Viguerie describing Mike Huckabee.

"Mike Huckabee is a Christian socialist. He is a good man, but with a Big Government heart," Viguerie said in a news release late Thursday night. "He is the most liberal of all the Republican presidential candidates on economic issues."

The free media space is the only fully mature part of the progressive infrastructure, with a sound governance theory (put media as close to the people as possible), and strong adherents in Congress, within regulatory agencies, in business, among activists, in academia and among bloggers.  And it shows, with constant forward motion through the legal, technological, and political thickets.  Right now the telecom lobbyists that control the Republican Party and the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party should be extremely worried.  On Thursday, they were soundly thumped in the most important caucus of the year, in both parties.