Why SOPA but not Health Care?

Something funny happened on the way to SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act). The people spoke. They let their voices be heard and the politicians, shock of all shocks, listened. SOPA was put on hold until legislators can review it and address concerns their constituents have.

SOPA would have legislated the Internet. The Internet is one thing the government still hasn’t destroyed with cumbersome regulations. Although they’re trying their level best to take control, so far the free market has been allowed to prevail. SOPA’s ‘good intentions’ were to protect intellectual property from being stolen or pirated. Granted, there are copyright laws on the books that already protect intellectual property, but the Internet is relatively new and therefore the ‘experts’ feel the need to get involved.

This would have been the foot in the door, the camel’s nose under the tent or the entree for the enlightened class to wrangle power and have control of the Internet. The law if enacted had the potential to allow a bureaucrat to decide if a website should and would be shut down. The free speech advocates, the Internet community as well as the general public were up in arms. They responded to the legislators and their response a resounding NO WAY.

It was astounding to see how quickly the bill was put on ice after the outcry from citizens and businesses vehemently opposing the legislation. This got me wondering, why? Not why in the sense why would legislators listen to the people? Rather, why this piece of legislation?

In 2010 the switch boards at the House, Senate and the White House were flooded. Businesses and private citizens all over the country expressed impassioned opposition to a piece of legislation that would affect every single American. The same legislators who the other day were concerned about pragmatism and getting a piece of legislation ‘right’ had absolutely no qualms about pushing through an incredibly unpopular 2000 page law regulating one sixth of the US economy. In fact, we were told to pass the bill so we could find out what was in the bill.

I don’t have the answers. Maybe I’m too cynical or maybe not cynical enough to pretend to understand why one piece of despised legislation gets put on ice and another gets crammed down our throats. I’m just making an observation and scratching my head. Wouldn’t it have been nice if before taking over healthcare those illustrious ‘statesmen’ would have applied the same pragmatism and put it on hold until they got it ‘right?’