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Why NN extortion on AT&T merger is a perversion of democratic process

I remain disturbed at the hypocrisy and blatant double standard of net neutrality proponents. It is classic case of "do what I say, not what I do." Their "ends-justify-the-means" MO is glaringly obvious to anyone with an ethical compass or an appreciation of the "democratic process" in our country.

Hiding behind the words and sanctimony of "ethics" and "democracy" net neutrality proponents appear to have no ethical qualms about perverting the democratic and ethical process that they claim to support in order to extort net neutrality conditions on the AT&T-Bell South merger that they know they could not get in an open, democratic or ethical process.

Why are net neutrality extortionist conditions on the AT&T-Bell south Merger anti-democratic and a perversion of our democratic process?

First these net neutrality demands are not in the public interest, they are obvious special favors for special interests. The big money interests of Google, and ItsOurNet, are trying to tilt the competitive playing field so that a competitor cannot compete as freely as they can, on no other basis than circumstantial extortion opportunity the merger review creates. The public interest is already inplace in the unanimous net neutrality principles the FCC decided on in the summer of 2005 that the companies are committed to respect and have not violated.

Second, a minority of a non-legislative body is trying to effectively legislate net neutrality conditions that would apply to only about a third of the telecom industry, over the objections of the FCC majority and the will of Congress.

  • McDowell, Martin and Tate oppose net neutrality regulations. The democratic minority is trying to use procedural blackmail to subvert the policy will of the FCC and Congress. The only reason McDowell cannot speak on this net neutrality condition is the unusual circumstance of the recusal on the merger. The minority does not have the votes to prevail -- only the blocking, degrading and impairing tactics to extort their anti-democratic will on the clear consensus that does not want to regulate the Internet and undermine competition.

Net neutrality proponents forget that the law of the land is still, the 1996 policy to keep the Internet "unfettered by Federal and State regulation." Until Congress changes it that's the FCC's policy baseline.

  • The House defeated net neutrality 269-151 last year and despite the 29 seat swing in the House from the election a majority of sitting members are on record opposed to net neutrality that the FCC minority is trying to impose in the dark of night.
  • In the Senate, net neutrality proponents would be lucky to have 50 votes not the 60 needed to pass controversial legislation. Lets not forget that the one seat Democratic majority is maintained by independent Senator Lieberman, the Senator that survived the hit attempt to knock him off.

Third, this backroom attempt to extort conditions that they could never get in an open and democratic process, is putting the online special interests ahead of real people and real jobs. It will be interesting to see how Democrats justify throwing their loyal union friends under the bus for dotcom billionaires and radical bloggers. Must be the new ethos, "virtual" interest are more important the real jobs. Very "democratic" of them.

In sum, if net neutrality proponents really believed in democracy and ethics why not trust the open and democratic process to protect the public interest?