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Republicans The Internet United States Politics

How the GOP (and the Tea Party) Helped Kill SOPA 857

Hugh Pickens writes "Strengthening intellectual property enforcement has been a bipartisan issue for the past 25 years, but Stewart Baker writes in the Hollywood Reporter that when the fight went from the committees to the floor and Wikipedia went down, the Democratic and Republican parties reacted very differently to SOPA. 'Despite widespread opposition to SOPA from bloggers on the left, Democrats in Congress (and the administration) were reluctant to oppose the bill outright,' writes Baker. 'The MPAA was not shy about reminding them that Hollywood has been a reliable source of funding for Democratic candidates, and that it would not tolerate defections.' That very public message from the MPAA also reached another audience — Tea Party conservatives. Most of them had never given a second thought to intellectual property enforcement, but many had drawn support from conservative bloggers and they began to ask why they should risk the ire of their internet supporters to rescue an industry that was happily advertising how much it hated them." (Read on, below.)
Pickens continues: "Pretty soon, far more Republicans than Democrats had bailed on SOPA, the Republican presidential candidates had all come out for what they called 'Internet freedom,' and now for Republicans, opposition to new intellectual property enforcement is starting to look like a political winner. 'It pleases conservative bloggers, appeals to young swing voters, stokes the culture wars and drives a wedge between two Democratic constituencies, Hollywood and Silicon Valley,' concludes Baker, adding that unfortunately for Hollywood, as its customers migrate to the Internet, it is losing not just their money but their hearts and minds as well."
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How the GOP (and the Tea Party) Helped Kill SOPA

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  • by laffer1 ( 701823 ) <> on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:05AM (#38914131) Homepage Journal

    Seriously, the guy who introduced the bill is in the GOP. Give me a break slashdot. []

  • So we are forgetting (Score:5, Informative)

    by Squiddie ( 1942230 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:06AM (#38914145)
    We are forgetting that Lamar Smith, a Republican first proposed this thing, correct? Face it, it wasn't Tea Party supporters or Republicans that stopped this. It was all of us that wanted Internet freedom. It was the threat of being voted out of office that made these politicians reject it, not one party or another. You bet your ass either side would pass it if they thought they could get away with it.
  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:44AM (#38914645) Journal

    Yes, the democrats have taken over the GOP, by moving steadily to the right for the past 30 years. Todays Democrat party is very much like the Republican party of 30 years ago. Obama is a conservative somewhere between Reagan and Nixon.

    The GOP was never a party of small government, non-interventionism, and individual rights. Reagan raised taxes 11 times during his presidency. Who started the War on Drugs? Nixon coined the term, Reagan made it policy. Nixon, pre-presidency, was a hawk on Vietnam. Hell, the "Reagan Doctrine" was explicitly interventionist!

    How is it that you can get the basic facts of our political history so utterly wrong, and still be 100% correct when you say this:

    So as far as I am concerned, it is either Ron Paul or a big-government-pro-war-bread-and-circuses president. It does not matter whether his name will be Obama, Romney or Gingrich.

  • The GOP candidates, except for Ron Paul, seem to think that laws should be made based on religious views.

    On the contrary, he thinks that there should be no separation between church and state [], and rather that laws should be based on Christian religious views. Ron Paul is pro-life because of his religious views []. And, rather than thinking the government shouldn't be involved in private medical decisions, he thinks it should be criminal, and investigated and punished.

    Ron Paul also doesn't believe in evolution [].

  • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Informative)

    by anwaya ( 574190 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:11AM (#38915041)
    Oh, please. How desperate.

    Obamacare - Government run health care because the Government knows better than you or your Doctor.

    This is not true. The Affordable Healthcare Act did not produce "Government run health care". It mandates that everyone must have health insurance, without expanding any of the state-run programs at all. This means the private insuance companies which lobbied for it make more money. No hospitals, other than those already run by the VA, have or will be taken over.

    Bailouts of GM. et al, i.e. government ownership.

    This is not socialist. Socialist would be full-on nationalization, like British Leyland, British Steel, British Telecom, British Coal, and British Rail prior to their privatization. There are no government-appointed board members on any corporate board that took bailout money.

    Support of Unions over the best interests of the country - Specifically SEIU.

    What on earth are you talking about? First, what support of Unions, "specifically SEIU", that favors any union over the best interests of the country, and whose view of best interests?

    Second, do you have a problem with Unions - associations of people, of citizens, of wealth producers, organizing to protect their interests? Do you really think it's wrong for people to unite to protect their common interests? Do you have a problem with "We the people, in order to create a more perfect Union..."? In fact, to quote Lynne Cheney, why do you hate America? ;)

  • by Rotag_FU ( 2039670 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:16AM (#38915109)

    This made me think of one of my favorite Douglas Adam's quotes from So Long and Thanks for All the Fish:

    “It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see..."
    "You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?"
    "No," said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, "nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."
    "Odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."
    "I did," said Ford. "It is."
    "So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't people get rid of the lizards?"
    "It honestly doesn't occur to them," said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want."
    "You mean they actually vote for the lizards?"
    "Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course."
    "But," said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"
    "Because if they didn't vote for a lizard," said Ford, "the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?"
    "I said," said Ford, with an increasing air of urgency creeping into his voice, "have you got any gin?"
    "I'll look. Tell me about the lizards."
    Ford shrugged again.
    "Some people say that the lizards are the best thing that ever happenned to them," he said. "They're completely wrong of course, completely and utterly wrong, but someone's got to say it."
    "But that's terrible," said Arthur.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:19AM (#38915163)
    Vote for individuals. In any given debate across the aisle there are defectors. Not all Democrats will vote the same and neither will all Republicans. Vote for, not against. Voting for someone only because you are against the other side only reinforces the nonsense that is Washington.
  • Re:It's True (Score:5, Informative)

    by d3ac0n ( 715594 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:35AM (#38915353)

    Then you obviously don't know much about American history.

    We have been a generally very religious country since our founding days. It's worked out pretty well for us overall. Of course, we have had our issues, but it's almost always been religion (Christianity in particular) that has been at the forefront of fixing the issues.

    Abolition of Slavery? Abilitionism started in Christian churches.

    Women's Sufferage in the US? Started by Christian women (Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. Susan B. Anthony joined later, but was also a prominent Christian woman.)

    Civil Rights? Movement led by Christian churches and one particular Baptist Minister (Dr. Martin Luther King.)

    The only "bad" social movement that I can think of in US history attributed to Christians would be the Temperance movement that eventually led to Prohibition. Obviously that didn't last. Everything else has been positive, often overwhelmingly so.

    So what is just so horrifying about a country founded and heavily influenced by a group of people who want us all to be free with equal rights?

  • by tmosley ( 996283 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @12:02PM (#38915731)
    And yet it continued under Obama.

    Stop trying to blame one party or the other. Both are at fault, and both should be punished. Vote third party.
  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @12:04PM (#38915761)

    That would be Paul

    Paul is not "anti-war". He is anti-MIC (Military Industrial Complex).

    But traditionally you think as Democrats as anti-war,

    Democrats are only "anti-war" to people that don't read history books. Here is a list of the major wars of the 20th century, along with the party in power when the US went to war:

    • WWI - Democrat
    • WWII - Democrat
    • Korea - Democrat
    • Vietnam - Democrat
  • by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @01:07PM (#38916755) Journal

    Missed one:

    4) If they give workers "the right to accept a job without joining a union" they are labelled as being "anti-union" because that policy weakens unions, by encouraging workers to free-load. They get to enjoying the benefits of the union's negotiations without paying for them.

    Really? Because I work in a "right to work" state and we don't have that problem. While working at Kroger many years ago, union members received one set of benefits and pay scale. Non-union members received another.

    There is no union at my current job. I enjoy full health benefits for me and my family, decent salary, fair treatment, plenty of vacation and sick days, maternity, 401k and a slew of other benefits I'll probably never use. Don't assume that without unions, the worker gets screwed. The worker only gets screwed when there are 20 other workers willing to take his place for less money. If that's the case, you need to find a new line of work.

    But that doesn't matter. Are you saying that I should be forced to give my money to a union, that will turn around and give to the Democratic party? Would you feel the same way if getting a job meant you had to support the Republican party? I would be much more receptive the idea if unions were banned from politics, but that's not the case.

  • by Zenin ( 266666 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @03:17PM (#38919105) Homepage

    Never mind the fact that the reason your employer offers such benefits is largely because they must compete against companies that offer similar or better benefits...which only offer them because a union in that other shop demanded them.

    The existence of unions has drastically improved the benefits, security, and quality of life of all workers in all fields, reguardless if they are unionized or not. The workers rights and benefits unions fight for extend far, far beyond just the workers and shops that are unionized.

"You must have an IQ of at least half a million." -- Popeye