Significance of FCC refusing to impose NN conditions on Adelphis deal -- Senate implications

Its very significant that the FCC refused to impose NN conditions on the Adelphia deal. 

First, after all the huffing and puffing of the liberal blogging community,'s 1 million person petition, and the 700 group coalition -- the neutrality-ites continue to fail. Add FCC (4-1) rejection of NN conditions on the Adelphia transaction to the House defeat of NN (269-152) and the Senate Commerce Committee defeat of NN (11-11) The phrase "more bark than bite" comes to mind when thinking about NN.

Second, it is good to have new Republican Commissioners McDowell and Tate on the offical record against NN. That's important because there now should be a solid Republican FCC majority against NN for the rest of the Bush Adminstration

Third, its significant that Democratic Commissioner Adelstein (a former Senate leadership staffer) voted to approve the Adelphia deal despite it not having NN conditions. He did not take a hard line like Commissioner Copps. This may be a precursor for full Senate politics.

This suggests that NN may not prove to be a monolithic Democratic party line issue which suggests that there may be enough Senate Democrats that are not willing to kill telecom reform legislation over NN. In the House, a third of Democrats voted directly against NN and over half of House Democrats voted for the House Barton Bill without NN. Moreover, while all Senate Commerce Committee Democrats voted against the Stevens bill on NN specifically, once it was defeated, three Democratic Members of the Committee voted for final passage along with Senator Snowe. 

While passing legislation is always difficult, many may be dismissing the legislation's prospects in the full Senate prematurely. Stevens does not have to get 60 votes against NN, he needs to get 60 votes for cloture that don't want NN to block consideration and passage of a popular bill. Big political difference. Like the FCC vote,  the full House vote, and the Senate Commerce Committee vote shows us -- there are Democrats that are not willing to forgo a positive becuase of the absence of perfect NN language. 

Bottom line: NN consistent political defeats mean savy politicians are likely not willing to fall on the sword for a losing cause.