Rasmussen, the FCC and Rape Rhetoric

Adam Thierer over at Technology Liberation Front posted a Rasmussen poll that suggests,

Just 27% of Americans now believe the Federal Communications Commission should regulate the Internet like it does television and radio. That marks a 22-point drop in support for federal regulation of the Internet since June 2008.

He believes that it is due to FCC’s overreaching actions:

I mean, after all, from what my friends on the Left tell me, the American people are just dying to get Net neutrality regulations on the books and have a massive infusion of taxpayer support for Soviet-style broadband plans and media bailouts. So clearly those things just can’t be driving this sudden public skepticism about the FCC, right?

It is actually a little simpler than that. I don’t think many people know or even care about the FCC and Internet regulation. The story that broke this past week, which is probably the cause of this drop, more broadly fits into the concept of intrusion, which has been all the rage these past couple months. Think about it this way. The decision on the court case broke just as the health care bill was being signed. This is important because many of the arguments being used in opposition to the health care bill were framed as rape or intrusion*: “They’re going to shove this bill down our throats,” “They are going to slip this bill in the middle of the night,” and “They are going to ram this bill through Congress.” These ideas were primed in the minds of many leading up to the FCC decision. When FCC v. Comcast broke, the agency immediately became an intruder, echoing the health care debate. Polling provides an interesting source of information and controversy for both scholars and politicians because he reasoning behind the beliefs are never really articulated. As a result, multiple readings of the data are possible. I, for one, think we should be stepping away from the particulars and look more broadly at what kind of arguments and stories seem to be circulating at the time. To sum this up: rape is relevant. *HT to Ellen Defossez for this observation.

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