On Monday morning, President Obama made a public statement urging the FCC to take strong measures to protect net neutrality. Obama does not want internet service providers to have the ability to block content or require additional payment for faster service for certain content providers. The feeling is that if net neutrality is not protected, large ISPs (internet service providers) like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T can decide who will be affected by slower speeds, based on the content they provide or the ability of larger companies to pay more for faster service. Our own Jason Easley explained how the abandonment of net neutrality would impact sites like this one.
To nobody’s surprise, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had an opinion on net neutrality once the President made his statement. And, predictably, Cruz tried to bash the President’s stance by making a hackneyed analogy to Obamacare.
“Net Neutrality” is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 10, 2014
Of course, Cruz has no earthly idea what he is talking about. It almost seems like he had never bothered to really look at net neutrality before Monday and just thought it would sound good if he could make a comparison to Obamacare and say government is bad. Immediately, Cruz was ridiculed all across the ideological spectrum. Fortune’s Dan Primack, claiming Cruz is confused about net neutrality, wrote the following about Cruz’s statement.
Is Cruz arguing that Obama’s proposal, if adopted by the FCC, would slow down the entire Internet? If so, then it seems he is totally missing the point (i.e., speed for all, rather than speed for some).
Does he believe that ISPs will simply throw up their hands at the extra regulation, and stop maintaining the current broadband infrastructure? Or is it that ISPs will stop improving their delivery services, meaning that today’s speeds are tomorrow’s speeds ad infinitum? If so, it seems that Sen. Cruz has very little faith in America’s capitalist spirit, in which established companies improve for the sake of taking market-share from one another, and in which entrepreneurs try to create something that completely disrupts the status quo. Remember, it’s not as if ISPs are operating on the brink of unprofitability — Comcast and Verizon, for example, are projected to generate combined annual profits in excess of $25 billion.
Moreover, regulated utilities do sometimes receive approval to raise rates (just take a look at what’s happening to Massachusetts electricity prices this winter).
Again, there is a real debate to be had over net neutrality. But no matter where it winds up, Sen. Cruz should rest assured that the Internet won’t be slowed down.
Salon’s Luke Brinker pointed out how Cruz has called a lot of other policy decisions that he doesn’t like ‘Obamacare.’ Therefore, it was just par for the course for him to do the same with net neutrality.
Of course, net neutrality isn’t about slowing down the Internet — it would ban evil cable companies from slowing down content just because content providers hadn’t paid exorbitant sums of money to the cable company to speed up service. But lest we get bogged down with the reality-based community’s facts, let’s focus on the bottom line: Ted Cruz hates net neutrality, and he really hates Obamacare, so net neutrality is basically Obamacare of the Internet. Kind of how a pathway to citizenship reform is the Obamacare of immigration policy, Common Core is the Obamacare of education, and same-sex nuptials are the Obamacare of marriage.
On Twitter, Cruz got pounded over his idiotic, yet completely predictable, tweet.
Ted Cruz just said net neutrality is Obamacare for the internet, proving he doesn’t understand either. — Lizz Winstead (@lizzwinstead) November 10, 2014
Senator Ted Cruz complains about Net Neutrality on Twitter, a platform that might not even have existed if it weren’t for Net Neutrality.
— Peter Rojas (@peterrojas) November 10, 2014
Sen. Ted Cruz says net neutrality is “Obamacare for the Internet.” He also calls sandwiches “meat Benghazis” and science “fact tyranny.” — Rex Huppke (@RexHuppke) November 10, 2014
A1 sauce is Obamacare for steak. Fedoras are Obamacare for your head. Honeydew melon is Obamacare for fruit cups. http://t.co/4iygSdFTDM
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) November 10, 2014
Ted Cruz: All things Obama supports are like Obamacare. Also, I don’t really know what net neutrality is. (Am I paraphrasing right?) — Elise Foley (@elisefoley) November 10, 2014
Sigh. The following two-year period is going to be one long clown show, headed by one Ted Cruz.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).