Republican Study Committee Dumps Derek Khanna, Author Of Copyright Reform Brief, After Members Complain

from the not-how-to-attract-the-next-generation dept

We'd heard this last week, but it's now been confirmed that, due to significant lobbying pressure by the entertainment industry and (even more so) the US Chamber of Commerce, Derek Khanna, the Republican Study Committee staffer who penned the first thoughtful policy brief on copyright reform to come out of US government offices in a long time, has been let go from his job. There was expected to be some staff turnover in January, as the new RSC leadership took place, but several Republican members of Congress explicitly asked incoming RSC boss Steve Scalise not to retain Khanna in response to the copyright brief.

If this is how the "new" GOP expects to interest young people, it seems to be going about it exactly backwards. Khanna wrote a thought-provoking paper that expressed views that many people believe to be true -- in a voice that is rarely heard in Congress. And, for that, he got fired. While the RSC and various copyright maximalists have been insisting that the paper was not properly vetted, we've had it confirmed that this is simply not true. The paper went through the standard procedure of any RSC brief, and was properly reviewed and vetted. It's just that once lobbyists hit the phones to various members of Congress (friends of Hollywood, mainly), pressure was put on the RSC to retract the document, and to jettison Khanna.

This is not going to interest very many young people, when a thoughtful critique of policy that finally raises issues that concern many leads to the staffer in question getting the axe. Khanna, for his part, has been valiantly continuing the conversation via his Twitter feed, but various lobbyists are now ensuring that elected officials can safely stick their fingers back in their ears.

Filed Under: derek khanna, gop, hollywood, rsc, steve scalise


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  1. icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), 6 Dec 2012 @ 12:12pm

    Re: The Nixon Principle, plus neocons.

    Also somewhere along the lines they got confused about what certain terms mean like "political conservative".

    I'm very much in favor of sustainability, which puts me on the left of many issues. What's interesting is that the sustainability movement has a lot in common with "traditional" conservative values. There's support of localization, of being self-reliant (e.g., growing your own food, generating your own energy and getting off-grid), etc. But I have an old high school friend who apparently is a Tea Party type and she puts up links to the most outrageous conspiracy stuff. How, for example, bike paths are a plot by the UN/communists to take over America.

    The whole anti-science bias of many of today's conservatives doesn't work for me, either. You can't ignore or refuse to publish research just because you don't like the results. Science evolves, so what we know now might be refuted in the future, but you have to get the info out there in order to pull it apart and test and retest.

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