MG Siegler, on the FCC and net neutrality:
The reality is that the President should have made this statement years ago. Instead, he made the statement as a lame duck with nothing left to lose, having just seen his party served a big slice of ‘fuck you’ pie by the voting public in the elections last week. The President needed an easy win to try to secure some sort of legacy before he rides off into the sunset of million dollar speaking gigs. He grabbed the lowest hanging fruit.
Coming out in favor of net neutrality is pretty much the easiest high ground one can grab. The President knows that his Republican counterparts will largely take the unpopular position defending the business interests of the telco companies under the guise of free market weasel-speak.
The only slight friction for the President here is that his strong stance puts Tom Wheeler, the FCC chairman that he appointed, in a tough spot. It’s a lose-lose for Wheeler. If he supports the President’s position, he’s a White House stooge. If he opposes it, he’s the fall guy. And it sure looks like he’s getting ready to oppose it…
But the President had to know this as well. I mean, he appointed a former telco lobbyist to the position of FCC chairman. People were outraged about this for about five minutes. Now we see why this was such a dumbfoundingly bad idea. I don’t care how much money Wheeler raised for the President, it’s a bad idea to appoint the most biased person possible to such a position of power.