One Congressional Loss That Hurts: Rick Boucher

from the too-bad dept

I mentioned on Twitter yesterday that it was really sad how difficult it was to find any candidates I actually wanted to win in the election yesterday. In most cases, the more familiar I was with any candidate, the more I felt they didn't deserve to be elected (and that included both the leading candidates in many elections). There was one exception, however: I hoped that Rick Boucher would win re-election. There is a very, very small number of Congressional Representatives who actually seem to really get technology, telecom and copyright issues, and Boucher is was one of them. Despite easily winning re-election in many past elections (he didn't even have any real competitor last time around), it looks like Boucher has been swept out as part of the anti-incumbent sentiment. Trust me, I understand the desire to get rid of incumbent politicians, but Boucher was one of the rare politicians who actually seemed to get the issues that many of us find important.

This is bad news for copyright and for consumers. Not that he was all that successful in passing the laws that mattered on that subject, but he was one of the few who would ask the key questions, and actually try to fix those broken laws -- such as his repeated attempts to fix the DMCA and support fair use, as well as more recent attempts to stop the massive boondoggle that is the Universal Service Fund. Boucher was so respected on these issues, that even Public Knowledge's Gigi Sohn and ITIF's Richard Bennett agreed that this was bad news. I've known both Richard and Gigi for a while, and I can't recall them ever agreeing on anything. Gigi wrote up a blog post about what a loss this is for consumers and innovation. Hopefully we'll find out that one of the newly elected representatives actually understands some of these issues -- or perhaps some of the "survivors" will step up and recognize the issues. But Boucher's loss is bad news.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 5:50am

    No...

    "Trust me, I understand the desire to get rid of incumbent politicians"

    You do? I don't. I understand the desire to get rid of BAD politicians, but this nonsense about pointing to the incumbents in this particular election and shouting, "We're getting you out!" is just flat out stupid. The one thing I kept hearing yesterday while I watched NBC's coverage (because apparently I enjoy punishing myself) was that this was a referendum on Barack Obama.

    Funny. I went to the polls yesterday (God knows why in Illinois, as it truly was the proverbial Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich across the ticket), and I didn't see Obama's name anywhere. I was so confused that I walked back out of the booth and asked the voting overseer at my voting place why he'd given me a faulty ticket.

    Some good folks were voted out along w/the bad yesterday, on both sides of the aisle. I'm trying to remain optimistic here, but as I get older I keep evolving towards one inevitable conclusion:

    This country is great, but a large number of it's people suck big fat donkey scrotum....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Berenerd (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 7:02am

      Re: No...

      I will admit. I didn't vote. (I just moved to where I am and have to wait 6 months before I can vote cause I moved across state borders). Although even if I could have, I am not sure I would have. I am all for voting people in i think will make a difference, however noone in the race in Massachusetts has convinced me they can do what they say they will. Sadly I find this more and more, I feel I have lost hope that there is someone out there that will actually fight the good fight and not fight the people who wont pay their tab.
      I used to work for the government and have seen the underhanded tricks these people use to try and cover up the true statistics to make themselves look good. I left said job because I was asked to reinvent mathematics to make it so a commissioner can get more state funding/grants because he didn't meet the requirements.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 7:18am

        Re: Re: No...

        "I feel I have lost hope"

        I was willing to give the newly elected guys a chance. Then NBC had one of the Republican heads on for an interview last night. They asked what their agenda was going to chiefly be about in the now Republican controlled House.

        His answer? Puttig forth legislation to roll back Obama Healthcare.

        But wait, the interviewer said, even if it gets past the Senate (doubtful), Obama will still veto it, so such legislation won't pass.

        Yeah, the Republican said, but then we'll be able to make him look bad and the Republican Presidential candidate can use that against him in 2012.

        So...you're just an asshole then? You're going to use the position the people have invested in you....to make another politician look bad....so that you can jockey for the Presidency? And you flat out admit to this?

        Son of a bitch, this isn't a fucking GAME, god damn it. Why does this thinking remind me of Wall Street goons shortselling stocks and then causing a run to profit from it? You don't enact legislation hoping it will fail, you assholes. You promote the will fo the people as best you can.

        I swear to God, I'm beginning to lose all hope....

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Yankee Infidel, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 8:16am

          Re: Re: Re: No...

          @ Dark Helmet

          Who are the bigger assholes? The person trying to get Obama and other Congressional Democrats on voting record not admitting to their massive mistake (Obamacare), or Obama and the Dem Congress for forcing Obamacare down the throats of the American people?

          Sorry, but the latter is much more asshole-ish. If the repeal measure does not pass the US Senate, then those Dem Senators up for re-election in 2012 (and there will be a significant number of them) who voted against the repeal measure will be on record for not admitting their mistake and it will cost them heavily. If it does pass both the House and the Senate, then Obama's narcissism will be on full display with his veto, which will also cost him in 2012, especially if Rubio gains the GOP nomination.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            Berenerd (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 8:27am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: No...

            Actually, both are bad. My hope is, with a balance of Democrats and Republicans, maybe the things getting passed will actually be equal both left and right.

            Obamacare, in concept, is a good idea. I believe everyone, no matter how rich or poor, should get health insurance. i also feel I pay far too much for my insurance and get nothing back from my insurance company other than headaches. Always been that way. One needs to fight for what they pay for because insurance companies don't want to pay for what they are supposed to. The cost both insurance wise and prescription wise is far too expensive. Thats what needs to end.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            DCX2, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 8:57am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: No...

            Not to distract from your partisan hackery, but I really want to know why everyone calls it Obamacare. I mean, Max Baucus was the guy who wrote it.

            (more likely one of his aides)

            Is it perhaps because few people know who Max Baucus is, and therefore it's easier to manipulate your audience into agreeing with your point if you choose a more well known figure?

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 9:06am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: No...

            Who are the bigger assholes? The person trying to get Obama and other Congressional Democrats on voting record not admitting to their massive mistake (Obamacare), or Obama and the Dem Congress for forcing Obamacare down the throats of the American people?


            Way to regurgitate talking points.

            First of all, Obama ran at least partly on healthcare - and won. And the healthcare bill was debated for over a year, so whether or not you like the bill it's hard to see how it was shoved anywhere.

            Second of all, as far as levels of assholery go, you're comparing a legislative agenda intended to help people and one intended solely for political posturing. Hmm, yes, hard to see which one is more "asshole-ish" there, isn't it?

            Basically, the healthcare bill was so full of compromises that it made everyone unhappy, in spite of that it does make things (slightly) better - so there's no real mistake to admit to. This is how legislation works, you have to compromise to get things done - it's not a bug, it's a feature!

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Jay (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 8:43am

        Re: Re: No...

        I just wish you could have voted Barney Frank out if you were in his district...

        That guy is truly the worst.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Not That Chris (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 7:09am

      Re: No...

      I think at this point the best way to be optimistic is look at it one of these ways:

      1) Who you voted for won! Hooray!
      2) Who you voted for didn't win, but the ones that did win make positive changes. Better than nothing.
      3) Who you voted for didn't win, things get worse, and you get to say "I told you so!"

      So see, everybody wins...or loses...I'm still not sure which...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Tristan Phillips, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 5:52am

    Let me get this straight:

    You're lamenting the loss of a Congressman who hasn't actually done anything in terms of fixing tech issues at the Federal issues, just understood them? And this is bad news for consumers even though he hasn't actually gotten anything fixed?

    I don't see the loss. Unless you can point to passed legislation that he sponsored that actually FIXED anything. As they say "Talk is Cheap"...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Jay (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 8:46am

      Re:

      Thank you for reading the articles highlighting the fact that he understood the situation of technology rights.

      Let me also thank you for noticing that he was one of the people that asked businesses tough questions.

      Your pessimism has inspired me to new heights.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 9:53am

      Re:

      You're lamenting the loss of a Congressman who hasn't actually done anything in terms of fixing tech issues at the Federal issues, just understood them? And this is bad news for consumers even though he hasn't actually gotten anything fixed?

      He's helped keep things from getting worse at times, which is an accomplishment. And now there's one less guy to help do that...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 6:28am

    Name one politician who has actually 'Fixed' anything...

    (other than the election that got them there in the first place of course)...

    In government the 'standard' is to nod and agree with whatever the leaders are pushing forward, which works fine for most of the group since they usually don't understand the issue, and don't want to be bothered figuring things out (just tell them how to vote to get the most $$$ from their lobbiests and they'll be happy).

    Having someone in there who actually understands the technology and the related issues, and who asks the relevant questions that get the other congress-sheeple thinking (a little bit anyway, lets not give them too much credit, but they do have some cognitive abilities, they've mostly just been overridden by greed) is a lot better than someone just sitting there nodding and saying 'Yep lets do it, now where's my cash?'

    Of course the best solution would be to eliminate the entire political system and start from scratch (it's in the constitution and it may get to that point some day), but due to the current centralization of power/wealth with corporations this won't happen (until we get to the corporatocracy where the biggest corporation gets to make all the rules... it's the system we have today, just without all the smoke and mirrors). At that point the citizens may finally stand up and say ENOUGH.

    Remember, remember the fifth of November
    Gunpowder, treason and plot.
    I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
    Should ever be forgot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Yankee Infidel, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 6:53am

    If you thought losing Boucher was bad, then gaining lying, ignorant, and incompetent Blumenthal is far worse.

    Mike, considering what you covered regarding Blumenthal's grandstanding as CT AG by running Craigslist through the mud as well as him contemplating removing the safe harbor provisions in Section 230 of the CDA, I find that threat FAR worse in consequence than losing Boucher that had not accomplished anything positive regarding copyrights and patents while he was in office, regardless that he championed what most of us wanted changed about those respective pieces of the law.

    I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the majority of he CT electorate is simply retarded. If they honestly feel that Dick Blumenthal best represents them, then all of CT need to be held responsible for their ignorant and moronic decision in voting Blumenthal into the US Senate.

    Out of all the elections on the line last night, this was the most facepalm-inducing event that I experienced. Shame on you, voters of Connecticut.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      halley (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 7:46am

      Re: If you thought losing Boucher was bad, then gaining lying, ignorant, and incompetent Blumenthal is far worse.

      Blumenthal is a rotten, professional camera-kisser. I completely concede that point.

      However, in reference to the other poster Dark Helmet above who said that they faced "the proverbial Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich across the ticket," I have to say that Connecticut had no choice at all. The World Wrestling Federation's executive spent $50 million dollars to try to buy her seat and overcome her lack of vision.

      This time, we collectively voted for the Turd Sandwich. If politics were seen as a form of evolution, we are quickly evolving to the lowest common denominators: idiocy and corruption.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Comboman (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 6:53am

    Glass half-empty

    Try to focus on the good news Mike. Former HP CEO and anti-consumerist Carly Fiorina lost as did folds-to-corporate-interests Feingold.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    bob, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 6:54am

    The Tree Of Liberty

    Remember, remember the fifth of November
    Gunpowder, treason and plot.
    I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
    Should ever be forgot.

    As we know from history this worked so well for the UK.

    The tree needs some refreshing with it's natural manure, blood of tyrants and patriots.

    Cap and tax is what killed Boucher.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Jake, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 11:30am

      Re: The Tree Of Liberty

      European history indicates that popular revolutions tend to cause enormous collateral damage for disappointing results, and in any case it's not a realistic prospect anywhere in the developed world without a substantial percentage of the armed forces defecting to the rebels.

      No, if you really want to make things better then your best bet is to support a candidate who both stands for things you agree with and comes over as willing to stick to their guns. If you can't find one, stand yourself.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Clay, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 7:00am

    He voted for TARP

    I don't care if he supported technology, abortion, feminism, global warming, the Colts, teletubbies, or poorly remade popular TV shows.

    He voted for TARP. Someone that doesn't understand Econ 101 doesn't belong in that position.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Ray, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 7:06am

    Boucher

    The reason Boucher was defeated was not only that he was the democratic incumbent, but after 28 years in office he lost touch with his constituency. Instead of representing the people he was elected to represent, he kissed up to Obama and Pelosi and walked in lock step with their every liberal progress agenda at the cost of s constituents. His biggest mistake was that he voted for Cap and Trade while many of his constituents are coal miners. This bill would have thrown them under the bus. He committed political suicide by voting against his constituents and with the Washington establishment. .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 9:55am

      Re: Boucher

      The reason Boucher was defeated was not only that he was the democratic incumbent, but after 28 years in office he lost touch with his constituency. Instead of representing the people he was elected to represent, he kissed up to Obama and Pelosi and walked in lock step with their every liberal progress agenda at the cost of s constituents

      Except, that's not true. He voted against healthcare reform, and his positions on copyright, privacy and technology were often against the administrations.

      Don't believe the lines the traditional media feeds you.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        ltlw0lf (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 11:27am

        Re: Re: Boucher

        Take heart Mike, at least 50% of our folks here in California voted for Barbara Boxer (D-MPAA.) Apparently, as technically oriented as California is, we still keep voting in the bastards responsible for the DMCA and half of the other anti-technology laws out there. But then again, she was facing the person who had a hand in the (illegal) pretexting madness at HP, so the options were a little thin.

        Boucher unfortunately really never had a chance to fix the DMCA...because there is just too much money coming from the Copyright Industry. I am just waiting for the pendulum to swing the other way, because it is desperately needed. I just want a little sanity in Copyright, is that too much to ask?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Nastybutler77 (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 1:04pm

    Politicians, like diapers, should be changed often and for the same reason.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 2:31am

    Obligatory Douglas Adams quote

    Well someone had to say it....

    No one actually capable of getting themselves elected should on any account be allowed any power whatsoever.

    As the man said, the sort of people who are drawn to running for power are inherently the least suitable to hold it..... Power attracts the corruptible

    About the best you can hope for in this situation is that with congress blocking everything the presidency attempts and vice versa, nobody will be able to c*ck things up too much. That's why hung parliaments are so much better than landslides in the UK.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This