Ted Cruz Once Insisted That Net Neutrality Was The Gov't Takeover Of The Internet; Now Demands That Twitter Host All Nonsense
from the that's-not-how-any-of-this-works dept
I guess Senator Ted Cruz was getting jealous of Senator Josh Hawley for monopolizing the “I’m a constitutional lawyer who doesn’t understand the 1st Amendment when it comes to internet content moderation” space, and has jumped in as well. He has announced that he’s going to issue a subpoena to get Jack Dorsey to come justify what he falsely claims is “election interference.”
Sen. @tedcruz: "Twitter is actively blocking, right now this instant, stories from the New York Post…on Tuesday, the Judiciary Committee, the full committee, will be voting on subpoenas to subpoena @Jack Dorsey to come before our committee." pic.twitter.com/lfpEcH8xeQ
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 15, 2020
Let’s be clear here. Like Senator Hawley yesterday, Senator Cruz is full of shit. And, like Hawley, Cruz is a constitutional lawyer who knows this is bullshit. Like Hawley, Cruz has now sent silly, laughable letters to Twitter and Facebook.
And, of course, it really was not that long ago when I remember this very same Ted Cruz screaming about the evils of the “government takeover of the internet.” To him, the idea of net neutrality was “Obamacare for the internet” and he decried:
Washington politicians want the money, and they want more and more control over our speech.
That… describes Ted Cruz trying to punish a company for its editorial decisions. That same article has some other choice quotes that can now be thrown back at him:
[W]e must promote growth in the technological sector, a consistent bright spot for the U.S. economy. But we won?t realize more of that dynamic growth unless we keep the Internet free from the kind of unnecessary regulation that is strangling our health-care, energy and banking industries.
And yet, here he is threatening regulations to strangle growth of the technology sector.
In 2012, those who care about Internet freedom were shocked as bills such as the Stop Online Piracy and Protect IP acts, which would regulate speech on the Internet under the guise of protecting property rights, started gaining popularity in Washington. Thankfully, online activists were quick to mobilize to protect their free-speech rights. But we must remain vigilant. Intellectual property must be defended, but any threat to quell speech on the Internet must be treated seriously and subsequently defeated.
The same activists who were “shocked” by SOPA and PIPA are the ones pointing out that Ted Cruz’s attacks on Section 230 are an even bigger threat to quell speech on the internet and need to be treated seriously and defeated. It’s just that Ted Cruz is the one now championing these efforts at censorship.
And for anyone trying to defend Ted Cruz right now, here’s a basic question: how would you respond if a Democratic Senator stood up and said he or she was going to subpoena the CEOs of Fox News or Breitbart to discuss their “bias” in covering the election? People would be throwing an absolute and total shitfit about how unconstitutional that is. And yet, here we have a Republican Senator threatening a company for its own editorial decisions. Ted Cruz’s grandstanding on this issue is, itself, a violation of the 1st Amendment. It is an attempt to punish a private company for its own 1st Amendment protected editorial discretion. And no one should let a grandstanding Cruz get away with this nonsense.