Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee, has put out a two pronged announcement of what America needs conservatives to achieve when it comes to the the Internet, new technologies, and the regulation of them all. It’s fun to watch just how strong she’s come out on these critical issues.
First she had a very well-written piece in the Washington Times explaining how the Internet and related tech issues have gone from a “niche in public policy” to being essential “to keep America free and prosperous.” She gives a great overview of the problems with the FCC and Net Neutrality, then goes on to explain how she, Fred Upton, and other Republicans can do something about it. It’s worth a read, or a link, if you ever need a summary of where we stand today.
The big story though came the next day, when she gave the keynote address to the State of the Net conference held by the Congressional Internet Caucus advisory committee. That’s where she drew the line, bright and clear.
The Congressional Internet Caucus is a bipartisan caucus, and the advisory committee is just as diverse. So when Blackburn stood up in front of them and made an uncompromising case for freedom and against the radical regulatory agenda, it was not necessarily a friendly venue. She did it anyway. She spoke not only of the bipartisan consensus in Congress against the radicals like (Advisory Committee member) Free Press…
The FCC thought they were pushing into a regulatory vacuum last month when they unveiled their net neutrality rules. They may find soon that they stumbled into a Congressional hurricane. No one, Republican or Democrat, Congressman or Commissioner, believes that these new regulations are also the final word. They are the first draft many regulations to come. And as the rules are revised and revised and revised, they create instability, unpredictability- the greatest of all disincentives to investment.
…but Blackburn also emphasized what conservatives ought to remember in this and the next fight, and the one after that:
Beginning with the coming repeal of the FCC overreach, Conservatives should apply our philosophy to the broader arena of tech policy. We must do so in the spirit of our classic defense of free markets and property rights while guarding against needless regulation and federal intervention.
Blackburn leaves no room for doubt. She wants to repeal the FCC’s Net Neutrality power grab. She wants to stand for freedom and property against expanding government. For that, she deserves our support and encouragement.