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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 betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @09:54AM (#38914037)
    The Democrats have been Hollywood's party for a long time now, so of course they would support this sort of bill more than the Republicans. These "two" parties are differentiated only by which set of corporations they work for the benefit of, after all (and the two sets are not even disjoint).
  • It's True (Score:2, Interesting)

    by d3ac0n ( 715594 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @09:57AM (#38914069)

    Tea Party types like myself HATE HATE HATE SOPA, PIPA and ACTA. We see them for what they are: power grabs by BOTH the MPAA/RIAA et all AND the government. As a generally conservative/libertarian group of people, we want LESS government intrusion and regulation of our lives. Not more.

    So the Tea Party HAMMERED the GOP over this one and unlike the Dems, the GOP LISTENED and responded in the way the people wanted.

    There are alot of people on /. that consistently say that there is no difference between the parties. I think this serves as an excellent example of why these people are wrong.

  • by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @09:59AM (#38914085) Homepage

    And yet capitalism -- let us not forget that Big Brother presides over an integrated, global capitalist system -- must be democratic, because it cannot be anything else. Capitalism could only grow hand-in-hand with democratic society. To deploy itself fully over the face of the whole planet, capitalism must even now permanently assure everyone of a choice, the outcome of which it has determined in advance. One must be able to choose between two indistinguishable politicians or two indistinguishable political ideologies because one chooses between two indistinguishable commodities. If there is no appearance of political democracy, there can be no sustainable capitalist system. This has been proven to be true by the permanent atrophy of the merchants in oriental despotism, by the ultimate defeat of Hitlerian and Mussolinian fascism, and by how poorly bureaucratic capitalism was managed by Stalinism.

  • by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @09:59AM (#38914087) Homepage

    The movie industry is deeply engaged with labor unions. The Democrats tend to favor labor unions, so the movie industry often pushes for Democrat candidates to keep their status quo union agreements.

  • Re:It's True (Score:4, Interesting)

    by polar red ( 215081 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:05AM (#38914129)

    Tea Party ... . As a generally conservative/libertarian group of people, we want LESS government intrusion and regulation of our lives

    sure. unless they can force a theocracy onto the US.

  • Re:It's True (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) * <bittercode@gmail> on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:14AM (#38914227) Homepage Journal

    I don't live in the US and I don't go out of my way to keep track of the current presidential election - but from what I can see Obama should coast to victory. But honestly I see no difference. I think what happens in the public eye is a side show to keep people from dealing with reality.

    It's going on all over the world - not just the US. The attention level is just higher because what the US does has such a high impact on so many other countries.

  • by jellie ( 949898 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:22AM (#38914305)

    Of course you're correct, but this is all the right-wing (and Tea Party) spin on the issues. The main article is written by a former official under Bush II who conveniently ignores the fact that the Republican party opposes EVERYTHING supported by any Democrats. The Democrats wanted to extend the payroll tax cut, while the Republicans opposed it until they finally gave in on a two month extension. They're also trying to kill any additional regulation of Wall Street, because these bills are usually being proposed by Democrats. And the "individual mandate" of the Obama health care plan? That was supported by Nixon, the Heritage Foundation, and even Romney way before Obama proposed it.

    This is just typical rewriting of history.

  • Re:Hmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jmac_the_man ( 1612215 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:28AM (#38914389)

    SOPA would never have gotten out of committee without a majority of Repugs supporting it, it never would have gotten to the floor without John "Corruption Is My Middle Name" Boehner's support. THR conveniently leave that fact out of their reporting

    SOPA never made it out of committee to the floor in the House. That's probably why THR didn't report any of that.

    Facts are a terrible thing when they disagree with a liberal.

  • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:28AM (#38914399) Homepage Journal

    I know how you feel, but I don't think that the Republicans are any better. I don't make enough money to feel restricted by the Democrats, but the Republicans :
    A - Want a presence in my bedroom, and I absolutely can't stand that.
    B - Favor my employer's rights over my rights, and if I look what has been happening to workers' pay vs executive pay and profits over the past decade, I don't think they need additional favoring.

    I don't like what the Democrats are doing either, but I feel more personally threatened by the Republicans.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:32AM (#38914459)

    At least the Republicans will allow one the tools to defend oneself or to forcefully change things --- ``Fast and Furious'' and ``Operation Gunrunner'' are a travesty of justice, and it's criminal that the State Department is blocking the return of surplus WWII-era M1 Rifles and Carbines from Korea (which would then be administered by the Civilian Marksmanship Program and sold participants in its programs)

  • Re:here we go (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JWW ( 79176 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:33AM (#38914477)

    I generally abhor people who are one issue voters.

    But, the Internet is the most powerful platform for free and open communication the world has ever seen.

    My opinion now is that ANY politician from ANY party who supports crippling the Internet is not just undesirable, but is in fact my enemy.

    I will be a single issue voter when the future of the Internet is on the line.

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:33AM (#38914479)

    who was... wait for it... A democrat.

    I'm not going to blame either side for this... I think we can agree that both parties have been on both sides of this issue.

    Lets just be happy SOPA died and remember in the future that MAYBE the "other" party which ever that might be for you MIGHT not be made up entirely of vampire demon nazis... and might just be okay people with a different perspective on things.

    Honestly, most of the political disagreements would go away if we stopped trying to impose things on people that don't want to participate. If you have a great idea... great. Anyone that actually likes that idea will support it. If your idea involves forcing people at gun point to do what you say though... maybe it isn't such a great idea.

  • Re:It's True (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) * <bittercode@gmail> on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:40AM (#38914601) Homepage Journal

    My personal exposure to international politics has been that American politics is pretty staid compared to some of what goes on world wide.

    I think US politics get a lot of coverage because of US influence, because US media is so pervasive world wide and because it all happens in English.

    If you want to talk about some crazy political theater - you should check out what is going on here in Hungary right now. It is off the wall. The thing is - none of the speeches or crazy stuff will make news in too many places. The impact outside Hungary is small and not very many people speak Hungarian. But we've got plenty of political folks that make US politicians look rather sedate.

    And I don't think the media thing can be over stated. It's interesting as this story comes out of hollywood legislation. When I watch TV here - most of it is American shows dubbed over in Hungarian. When I buy dvds - they have options for Hungarian menus and subtitles/or dubbing but English is still there. When I listen to the radio or shop in stores, the music is far and away predominately American. That constant presence is what I think draws all the watchers.

    The other way not so much. Malev, the state airline here shut down today. I have friends stranded in Paris and I doubt my friends in the US will ever hear about it.

  • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:08AM (#38914987)
    Sure, in places with real functioning political parties like Europe this is the case, but not so in the US. There are just too many variables to make a case that Republicans believe X and Democrats believe Y. Case in point: wars. Out of the 5 major contenders in the 2012 race (Obama, Romney, Paul, Santorum, Gingrich) which is the only one that is anti-war? That would be Paul who is running as a Republican in the primaries. But traditionally you think as Democrats as anti-war, but yet Obama is a very pro-war president.

    In our 2 party system it is impossible to lump people together in different categories based on which of the 2 parties you vote for, unlike Europe which has a more functional political party system.
  • by ArsonSmith ( 13997 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:13AM (#38915065) Journal

    I vote for every libertarian on the ballot no matter the views or qualifications. Due to the fact, they are not going to get elected anyway, but if another candidate sees that they lost because of a libertarian it 'may' get them to rethink their position and move slightly away from the totalitarian principals that the two current dominant parties have.

  • by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:13AM (#38915071) Homepage

    Problem with the Libertarian party is cannibas. Everytime I see a booth, every time I see anything from the Libertarian party - all they talk about is pot.

    I'm like "Hey you bloody f***tards, don't you realize our country is falling apart. And all you care about is getting stoned. Can we please talk about real issue!"

    And that alone is the comment I hear from almost everyone I meet who has been turned off by the Libertarian party.

    Most of us just don't give a damn about your pot. We couldn't care less one way or the other, and that seems to be the primary issue talked about by party members promoting the party.

  • Re:Hmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:30AM (#38915299) Homepage

    Go read on the GM loans. All the loans to banks. They've done funny math to say they've been repaid. In reality, they've not....


    But as with Marchionne, Whitacre didn't tell the full story. The Obama administration -- through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) -- committed approximately $52.4 billion to help right GM.

    Only a fraction of that, $6.7 billion, was in the form of loans. Most of the government's GM investment was converted to an ownership stake in the New GM, the company that emerged from bankruptcy: $2.1 billion in preferred stock; and 60.8 percent of the company's common equity. The jury is still out on how much return the government will get on that investment. []

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:30AM (#38915303) Journal

    that is why I am throwing my support on the Republicans

    Wow, that will help them buy half a bumper sticker.

    It's not about your support or my support any more. It's about the support of the super rich.

    The average donation to a Super PAC starts at $100,000, and you don't have an extra $100,000 you can donate. Do you know why the number of commercials run by campaigns this year is DOWN by almost 75%? Because they don't have to run them any more, since the Super PACs are doing their work for them.

    I'm not saying there is no difference between the parties, I'm saying they don't matter. Parties don't matter, elections don't matter. This has become a game of RISK between groups of billionaires. Our fucking country has become a LAN party for the super rich and the rest of us can only look on in horror.

    I don't care what your political affiliation is, the only way an individual is going to affect the outcome is to GET IN THE WAY. You have to take your body, and move it off your couch, and get in the faces of politicians. And you have to do it with a group of 5000 of your closest friends.

    TacoCowboy, if you throw your "support" on the Republicans, you are a fool. Throw your support to your community. To your family. To those 5000 of your closest friends who will go stand in front of your congressman's office and demand that they do something or not do something. Your "support" doesn't mean anything, to anybody. Now, if 5000 of your closest friends come to honestly believe that Mitt Romney (or Barack Obama) is actually going to have any impact on anything (historical data says no) then go in peace and line up 5000 strong to support him. It makes you a fool, and delusional, but I support the right to be foolish and delusional almost religiously. But your "support", coming from a computer keyboard, is pissing in the wind. The political discourse on the Internet is nothing but jacking off, unless the goal is to meet up with those 5000 friends and GO OUT and do something. Anything else done by a non-billionaire is just energy you could be using to do something good and throwing it down the shitter.

  • by evil_aaronm ( 671521 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:33AM (#38915329)

    This is sheer genius - sheer fucking genius. Here's what we do: we start an organization and solicit funds to portray the incumbents as lizards. Everyone at every level who's up for re-election gets their own web page, flyer, mailer, poster, TV ad, every major form of promotional material, where they look like lizards. The tag-line: "Why would you vote for a lizard? You don't like lizards. Lizards don't like you. Why would you vote for a lizard?"

    Ok, it needs polish, but this could actually make a dent in the voting process - as well as drive up the need for pictures of lizards. That'll be my task. I'm a gonna dust off my camera and start snapping lizard pics. You organize the organization and round up the funds while I'm shooting lizards.

  • by SydShamino ( 547793 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:39AM (#38915419)

    Alomst every intrusion Bush pushed; Homeland Security, NoNock warrants, NoTell warrants, warrantless searches, control of the Internet, indefinite arrest without charges - The Obama administration has enlarged on.
    And I not only voted for him, I campaigned for him.

    Okay, so you have an emotional attachment, and you're angry and want to punish him. I get that. I voted for him too, and I'm disappointed.

    But take a minute and look at this from a financial standpoint. Think about all the wrong things he's done, and consider them all sunk cost. They're done and (at least this election) you can't get them back.

    Then focus on future costs. Of the two available options, which one will be worst moving forward? I see no indication that the Republican nominee would undo any of those things. Indeed, comparing Obama and Romney/Gingrich, I think Romney/Gingrich would trample first and fifth amendment rights faster than Obama would. Romney/Gingrich want smaller government, but only where it regulates business or taxes rich people or helps poor people. Neither of them have any interest in stopping the things you hate about Obama, and I suspect both of them would further intensify those things so as to pander to the warhawk/"nothing to hide"/"with us or against us" base.

    So by reacting with your emotions, I think you'll end up making things even worst. "Cutting off your nose to spite your face", so to speak.

    Obviously your opinions about Obama's second term versus Romney/Gingrich's first might differ, but at least make sure you've thought them through before you vote.

  • by ArsonSmith ( 13997 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:43AM (#38915469) Journal

    Reagan raised taxes 11 times during his presidency.

    And yet they were still lower than when he took office. this is the stupidest quote I've ever heard trying to say he was against big government. He lowered taxes farther than he should then slowly raised them to help find the sweet spot, which is how it should be done.

  • Re:It's True (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:45AM (#38915499) Homepage

    Well, the Tea Party has issues with both the TSA & Patriot Act and has been the single largest voice of opposition.

    As for Christianity, gay marriage, etc.

    Well there are conservatives in the Tea Party movement who advocate for such. But most of the social agenda is off the table at Tea Party events.

    Mention of God, faith may be applied but seldom moral objectives beyond "being good people".

    In fact, most of the view points I've encountered is "why should ANYONE need a license from the government to get married? why is the government even involved?"

  • Re:here we go (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:57AM (#38915645)

    The problem with most of those people, is that they also dislike things that reduce the number of abortions, like education and contraception. I'm against abortion, so I want to give away the pill like it's candy and fund the heck out of planned parenthood. The "planning" part is the key.... Where my homies at?

  • Let Me Restate (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:57AM (#38915647) Homepage

    So, to restate: More than a decade after the technical experts on the implementation side began explaining that centralized inhibition of copyright infringement is a costly boondoggle which will do far more to harm the public than to prevent copyright infringement, and more than a year after more fiscally minded people started asking whether we should be reducing copyright grants and enforcement instead of increasing them on a pure GDP maximization basis, the Tea Party decide to test the waters of supporting the rational, societally beneficial side. They did so when we technologists finally got so fed up that we started turning off the Internet. Actually, it wasn't just that -- they also realized (and frankly it was mostly this) they could use it as a political wedge issue to angle a few more seats in the power-and-pork circus.

    Yeah, that's great. Nice work guys. Today you are truly statesmen.

    I'll make you a deal -- you start showing some actual leadership on this issue. Start doing some research on the cost effectiveness, publishing the results, and using your offices as a serious bully pulpit to explain why the very spirit of America demands unhindered free speech on the Internet. You show that you understand why every step we have taken on digital copyright enforcement from the DMCA forward has been a direct violation of America's most sacred principles. You start trying to explain that to the populace, instead of just flapping in the breeze of popular emotionalism. You do that, then I'll stop thinking you are shameless opportunists who are only slightly less despicable on this particular issue than any of the other corrupt vermin in D.C.

    Oh, and one more thing: You better make it clear that free speech means radical Muslims and American dissidents too. Everyone gets to speak, even if they are insane, evil, violent assholes.

  • Re:Hmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Alranor ( 472986 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @12:24PM (#38916087)

    Yeah, you most certainly could change your insurance company.

    Unless, of course, you wanted to change because you were dissatisfied with the way your current provider was dealing with your current condition.

  • by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @12:27PM (#38916117) Journal

    You are absolutely correct and its been working. The left has been using that strategy forever. The 'genius' if you will of the likes of Karl Rove during the Bush era and now as well as some of the new anti-Obama super PACs and similar is that Conservatives have started to do the same thing to and about liberals.

    You can't have an intelligent debate when the other side is permitted to get away with name calling and baseless hyperbole that is not subject to challenge. The right finally figured out its not worth holding the moral high ground if it means losing the election. The result is the political discourse in this nation has been reduced to level children on playground exercise. Until the public demands better and everyone gets together and agrees to something better the right thing to do is whatever it takes to win.

    If Romney wants to win this thing the moment the GOP primary ends he SHOULD go hard negative on Obama. He should adobt Newt's nonsense about the food stamp president, label the president an apologist who hates America, etc etc. He should set the PACs about going after Obama's family. Tell people how even Michelle is a totalitarian who hates your freedom to even decided what to eat or feed your children. Remind people how Obama told his daughter she'd make her first million before 18, and accuse the entire family of just having their hand in the cookie jar, of nepotism, of looting.

    None of it needs to be true, fair, or reasonable. Newt's SC success is proof of this. The more vapid and empty the better, in fact. I'd make this the UGLIEST election this Nation has ever seen, first because its the way to win and second because maybe just maybe when the dust finally settles people would wake up and decide they are truly tired of it.

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Friday February 03, 2012 @12:37PM (#38916245) Journal

    Actually Pearl Harbor can be laid square at the feet of FDR who ignored the will of the people to start a war, sound familiar? I would urge everyone to read Herbert Hoover's biography, its free and online in several places, where he lays out how FDR went out of his way to insult the Japanese at every turn and give them NO way out that would allow them to save face because he had a raging hard on for starting a war the people had made VERY clear they DID NOT WANT. he also sold out all of Eastern Europe to Stalin who he gushed all over thus condemning millions to a life of fear if they got to live at all. FDR even said in his own words he was gonna "tighten the noose" around the neck of Japan until they had no choice but to fight back and when they sent envoys to try to negotiate before Pearl harbor he would go out of his way to insult them like ignoring their requests for an audience for weeks.

    So it had nothing to do with interventionalist and everything to do with a warmonger that wouldn't be happy until he got his war. Now whether you supported WWII or not is irrelevant, if FDR thought we should fight he should have laid out the reasons to the American people and let them decide, instead he simply ignored how they repeatedly said they did not want their sons dying in Europe and the Pacific and kept bitchslapping both Germany and Japan until they got tired of it. Hoover also lays out how many were telling FDR including him that getting involved at that time in any capacity was not only foolish but gave Stalin all the cards because if the USA would have stayed out Stalin and Hitler would have wiped each other out and Japan was buried in a quagmire in China that was keeping the factions all turned on each other and keeping the communists from gaining an upper hand. Read the book, its quite enlightening.

    As for TFA my hope is that a republican congress and Nobama as POTUS will equal such gridlock that frankly nothing gets done, sadly that appears to be our best outcome at this point. Mittens couldn't be elected dogcatcher and Nobama has made it clear the only hope and change you are getting is he hopes you don't notice the only change from the previous administration is the name on the letterhead. He has made it clear he doesn't care what the people think, don't give a shit about the poor, loves war as much if not more than Dubya, definitely craves power worse than Dubya, and has declared that thanks to war powers which he says congress can't restrict he can pretty much have anyone labeled an enemy combatant and dealt with without trial, a move even Dubya wouldn't have had the balls to try.

    So frankly our best hope is complete gridlock. BOTH parties kiss the ring of the corporate masters, BOTH parties are in love with more police state tactics, but both parties hate each other enough that neither can stand the other getting anything done so having congress in the Rep hands while the POTUS is a Dem seems to be the surest way to have complete gridlock. sad that that is the best we can hope for huh? But the MSM has been declaring Mittens the winner for months now and i have no doubt they will get their way and Mittens big fat shill mouth ensures he doesn't have a prayer.

  • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @01:19PM (#38916951)
    You are absolutely correct. The perfect example is the No Child Left Behind law. It was essentially written by Senator Ted Kennedy (well, his staff), yet the "left" derided it as a terrible law enacted by George W. Bush. It is a terrible law, yet many of the things in it that the "left" condemned had long been on their list of proposed education reforms.
  • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Friday February 03, 2012 @01:27PM (#38917087)
    A couple of points. Operation Gunrunner was not started by the Bush Administration. The Bush Administration had a similar program, but that program was much smaller. Additionally, there was a key difference with the program under the Bush Administration. The Bush Administration ran their program in cooperation with the Mexican government. When a straw purchaser made a gun purchase under the Bush Administration, they tracked the gun until it moved to Mexico, whereupon they informed the Mexican government with the plan calling for the Mexican authorities to pick up the gun smuggler and the person for whom the gun(s) were intended and confiscate the weapons. Under the Obama Administration, the Mexican government was never informed AND when the straw purchaser passed the gun off to someone else (even while still in the U.S.), the agents continued to follow the straw purchaser and did not follow the gun.

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