We are deep into Year Seven of the Barack Obama Administration. It has not been a great time in the history of government transparency and accountability.
He at the outset sounded good.
“We have to use technology to open up our democracy. It’s no coincidence that one of the most secretive administrations in our history has favored special interests and pursued policies that could not stand up to the sunlight….”
Then so quickly disintegrated.
Cronyism and ObamaCare: Another Challenge for Reformers
GREEN SCAM: 80% of Green Energy Loans Went to Obama Donors
Auto Bailout Czar: We Did It All for the Unions
The (Federal Communications Commission) FCC Delivers the Latest Dose of Obama Cronyism
He sounded SO good.
“I’ll let you participate in government forums, ask questions, in real time offer suggestions that will be reviewed before decisions are made. And let you comment on legislation before it is signed.…”
Then…not so much.
President Obama promised transparency and open government. He failed miserably.
ObamaCare Architect: Lack of Transparency Was Key Because ‘Stupidity Of The American Voter’ Would Have Killed ObamaCare
Influence Peddlers Seem to Know More About the Trans-Pacific Partnership Than Congress
FOIA Backlog Soars Despite Obama Pledge of Transparency
Speaking of fake transparency.
The FCC Wants to Hear Your Comments on Its New Net Neutrality Plans – May 15, 2014
The FCC Received 3.7 Million Net Neutrality Comments – September 16, 2014
This “record number of comments” was ceaselessly touted.
The Left wasn’t pleased with the Net Neutrality order as it was then written.
FCC Proposed Net Neutrality Change Sparks Internet Rage – August 8, 2014
Concerns for the new rules center around “fast lanes” and “slow lanes”….
President Barack Obama wasn’t pleased – and big-footed the whole process by saying so.
President Obama Wants the FCC to Abandon Plans for Tiered ‘Net Neutrality’ – October 10, 2014
Then after the landslide, Less Government 2014 election – the President made it official.
President Obama to FCC: Reclassify Broadband Service as Title II to Protect Net Neutrality – November 10, 2014
Then this happened.
FCC Chief Tom Wheeler Suggests That He Will Back Strict (Title II) Net Neutrality Rules
Then – it happened. The President’s FCC gave him exactly what he wanted.
FCC Votes for Net Neutrality, a Ban on Paid Fast Lanes, and Title II
So the whole transparency thing – with all the Comments, the roundtables, and the Twitter forums – was meaningless. Because we weren’t weighing in on anything close to what was actually imposed.
And when it came time to impose the new, immensely larger power grab?
Wheeler Won’t Release Net Neutrality Draft
No Comment periods, now roundtables, no Twitter forums. Transparency.
Title II is 1934 landline telephone law – now woefully mis-applied to the Internet. As anyone with an IQ above nine on a warm day can tell you – just about all of these laws and regs have absolutely no applicable bearing on the 21st Century Internet.
And now there are all sorts of new ways for the government to tax the Web.
But fret not, the FCC says.
They (claim they) will wield just some – and not all – of their massive new powers. They will practice “forbearance.”
“(F)orbearance” refers to a special magic power that Congress gave the FCC…which gives the FCC the power to say “you know that specific provision of law that Congress passed? We decide it really doesn’t make sense for us to enforce it in some particular case, so we will “forbear” (hence the term ‘forbearance’) from enforcing it.”…
How confident are we…that every single government (official) will – in perpetuity and for always – leave these new powers (and taxes) on the table? And not use them…again? And again? And…?
When they have set themselves up to do so – by vastly overreaching their existing authority with their illegal imposition of Title II Reclassification? The huge sting that makes all the subsequent others possible?
When the very nature of Title II itself “doesn’t make sense for us to enforce” on the Internet?
The FCC that just unilaterally, (illegally), exponentially increased its authority over the Internet – is promising us it won’t go any further.
“Trust us – we’re the government” shouldn’t be enough for just about anyone anymore.
This first appeared in Red State.