Monday, January 23, 2012

No SOPA, or PIPA Longstocking

At least for now, SOPA and PIPA are not happening. These two bills were both ostensibly aimed at stopping the problem of pirated intellectual property, particularly movies and music. The problem was that, in designing a mechanism to shut down primarily overseas websites, the law was likely to put the clampdown on a lot of what happens on the Internet.

Hollywood wanted SOPA (the House version) and/or PIPA (the Senate version) to pass and it hired former Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, the one-time Friend of Angelo who played a major role in ensuring that corruption in the financial industry was undisturbed, to protect its interests. Didn't work out so well. And now Dodd is very angry at the Obama administration in particular, and Democrats in general, for not staying bought:

Hollywood's top lobbyist and former Sen. Chris Dodd is threatening to cut off campaign funds to President Obama's re-election effort because of anger over the White House appearing to side with tech companies in a bitter fight over anti-piracy legislation.

In an exclusive interview with Fox News, Dodd fired off a warning to Obama -- his former Senate Democratic colleague in this election year -- "don't take us for granted."

"Candidly, those who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake," Dodd told Fox News. "Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake."
This is actually pretty amusing, because to me backing away from SOPA and PIPA is one of the best things the Obama administration has done since it first came to power. This was bad legislation and would have had the potential to hurt a lot more people than it would have benefited. It's also amusing because it's highly unusual to hear a lobbyist be so out front about the fact that he's trying to buy votes.

I suppose Dodd is confused because while he was a scoundrel whose vote was always negotiable, he had the moral probity to stay bought. And I suppose it's difficult to remember the proper pecking order among mendicants for who gets what from the Obama administration. Hollywood gives a lot of money, but they didn't get the Solyndra treatment in terms of tilting the playing field their way. If you think you are a winner, it's gotta hurt to be a loser in the poker pork game.

Meanwhile, our two august Senators, Klobuchar and Franken, were staunch PIPA supporters. As far as one can tell in the gauzy, feel-good Lifetime Channel world that is Amy Klobuchar's career, she stayed bought. Wonder if the money will keep coming now.


Anonymous said...

Dodd being upset is understandable: He promised that he could deliver the goods and he was unable. One can only imagine the type of money he may not see because of his ineffectiveness. Could this signal trouble for the Democratic Coalition which has always been a patchwork quilt of background deals and crony capitalism?

Night Writer said...

Now let's see a revolt against TSA screening. It, too, enacted a disproportionate amount of hassle and infringements on liberty to solve a relatively small problem that could have been addressed in other ways that were more targeted and less obstrusive.

Leave it to bureacracy to keep trying to swat flies with anvils, especially since they're in the anvil manufacturing business.

CousinDan 54915 said...

Has Dodd taken on the orange glow of Angelo since he retired?