The big media question after the mid-term shellacking wasnâ€™t so much whether President Obama would move to the middle, but how far to the middle he would move (for the record, I never thought he would moderate at all and still donâ€™t). The answer is now becoming clear. On high profile issues where the peopleâ€™s representatives actually get a vote and the press spills lots of pixels, heâ€™ll move as far to the middle as he must to maintain a veneer of bipartisanship and reasonable compromise. But on lower profile issues where the peopleâ€™s representatives donâ€™t get a direct vote, he will stay over on the hard left and dare anyone to challenge him. If his actions survive a Congress or two, theyâ€™ll live on long after his presidency ends.
That is precisely what the president has done on two fronts this week. In the first, his appointees to the Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines to insert itself as a regulator of the Internet. The rules they adopted were only delivered to commissioners late the night before the vote, which also seems to be a strategy that the Democrats under Obama have mastered: Delay disclosure so that hardly anyone knows what theyâ€™re actually voting on. They did this with ObamaCare, they did it with omnipork, they did it with the DREAM Act, and they did it with the net neutrality rules. So much for transparency.
As John Fund notes, there has been no public outcry to get the government involved in Internet regulation, but various voices on the left have been pushing for â€œnet neutralityâ€ for years, and now they have nearly all that they wanted. Net neutralityâ€™s roots are anything but neutral.