The Hill reports with surprise something that could have been easily predicted. Under the headline “Obama veers left after red wave”, it says:
President Obama has taken significant steps to the left since his party’s devastating losses in the midterm elections.
In a surprise, he announced a major deal on climate change with China during a trip to Beijing Tuesday. That followed another unanticipated move — a Monday statement pressuring the Federal Communications Commission to adopt new net neutrality rules for the Internet.
The moves are helping to rally a dispirited Democratic base while re-establishing Obama’s political leadership after he was sidelined during the midterms.
This is what the Democrats always do, speak out strongly on some progressive issues only when they are not in a position to implement them. What is a surprise is that Obama made these moves so soon, rather than more subtly. Remember when Obama spoke favorably of a single-payer health care system when he was on the campaign train for the 2008 election only to not even consider it as soon as he got into office and his party controlled both houses of Congress?
His sudden passion for net neutrality is also in the same vein, because the head of the Federal Communication Commission Tom Wheeler is expected to oppose his recommendation.
Yesterday, President Obama took a strong position on net neutrality by supporting calls to regulate the internet more like a utility. Less than 24 hours later, FCC head Tom Wheeler is said to have indicated that he will break from the president’s proposed plan, moving in a new direction intended to pacify huge internet providers such as Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon.
Who is Tom Wheeler? He used to be a venture capitalist and lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry that strongly opposes Obama’s call for net neutrality. Who appointed him to be the head of the FCC? Why, president Obama, as recently as November 2013.
So Obama appoints someone whom everyone knew was beholden to the industry to head an agency that is supposed to regulate that industry, and then calls for something he knew Wheeler would oppose.
This is typical Democratic party shamelessness: Talk progressive when you cannot actually carry out your promises but ignore those same promises when you have a real chance to do something to nudge them along.