Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) -- Ranking Member on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee -- called the idea of equal access and open speech on the Internet an affront to civil liberties and free-market economies, coining the talking point “Electric Communism.”
Freedom’s Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Gain
“There’s nothing free about allowing a government agency to regulate a business,” Hutchinson said. “Where are the individual’s rights when every click of the mouse is overseen or approved by the federal government? Our measure intends to rid Americans of the onerous regulations adopted by the FCC, which destroy the ‘hands off’ approach that has allowed the Internet to grow and flourish.”
Hutchinson’s resolution was supported by other Republicans in the Senate, including Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), John Ensign (R-Nev.), and James Inhofe (R-Okla.).
Sen. McConnell said, “If you want to read the Bible, you go to the bookstore and buy one. If you want to listen to a Juice Newton song, and I would recommend ‘Angel of the Morning’ or ‘Queen of Hearts,’ you purchase the CD or download the music from an authorized retailer. None of these things are free. And to make them ‘free,’ in the sense that liberals are using, you place control of those properties in the hands of a government body. Imagine what would happen if the government suddenly decided that the Koran should replace the Bible, which is entirely possible with this administration. Imagine if the government decided that you should listen to gangster rap instead of wholesome Juice Newton records. That’s exactly the kind of a scary abyss we’re staring down with the fool’s gold that is net neutrality.”
Leave the Internet to the Pros, Not the Cons
“There are more benefits than pitfalls for consumers,” explained Sen. Inhofe. “When Twitter begins charging 15 cents a tweet, or when YouTube bills a dollar a film, all those annoying ads on the pages go away. That sort of marketing clutter won’t be necessary anymore. Plus, it will be a lot easier to enforce parental controls on the Web. If you don’t want your teen accessing the kind of smut peddled by dangerous radicals like Huffington Post or NPR or anything ending in .org -- and who in their right minds would? -- then you won’t have to bother programming complicated filters; without a credit card, there’s no way your child would be able to enter the sites.”
Google too should begin charging, according to Inhofe, to ensure the free exchange of information.
“Paying for preferred search results would speed up performance, deliver more meaningful data, and weed out questionable sites from individuals or start ups lacking credibility, all while protecting our youth,” Inhofe continued. “As a test, I conducted a Google Image search yesterday using a random series of completely innocuous words -- a few of them were, if I recall, ‘wet, fetish, bears, tranny, bondage, one cup, clown penis, diaper’ -- and you wouldn’t believe what Google returned. It was disgusting. I endured a six-hour ordeal -- tortures of the damned, I’d say -- poring over the aberrant pictures Google had stored in its servers. No one should have to spend that much time wading through a cesspool of deviant porn to get meaningful search results. Truly, our resolution is the best way to preserve American freedoms and values. It’s the only way to allow developers to continue expanding the economy, electronic commerce, and the Internet itself, which is currently being monopolized by ne’er-do-well bloggers and pirates.”