It can be hard to keep up with all of the liberal protesting going on these days on the left. When liberals aren’t marching outside of conservative Supreme Court justices’ homes, they’re chanting in front of firearms manufacturing plants. It’s a wonder that they can find time to hold down a job. (Stop snickering.) But they managed to find another crowd over the past couple of weeks to go after a very different target. Protesters staged mobile billboards in front of the homes of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D – NY). So what demands are the protesters making of the liberal stalwart? Amazingly, they’re demanding that he watch the John Oliver Show.
NEW: With time running out for this Congress to pass key antitrust bills, major tech companies are putting up the fight of their lives. CEOs are making personal visits and phone calls to lawmakers, and industry groups are flooding the airwaves with ads. https://t.co/mgytJHxovT
— Cat Zakrzewski (@Cat_Zakrzewski) June 27, 2022
The protest is apparently aimed at forcing Schumer to bring some anti-trust legislation targeting Big Tech to the floor. The billboard campaign is being organized by a left-wing organization called Fight for the Future. That organization is the brainchild of Evan Greer, someone so far to the left that even some moderate Democrats steer clear of him. In other words, this attack on Schumer is not coming from the right. The calls are coming from inside the house.
The bill in question has been in development by Amy Klobuchar, the author of the bill, and a few cosponsors. The original version seemed to be primarily intended to target tech giants like Apple, Amazon, Google and Meta. It would prevent them from prioritizing their own products and services over those of their competitors or smaller, independent startups. In that sense, it actually would work like a true “anti-trust” regulatory effort.
But there’s one major problem that’s likely to bog down this effort. The original bill passed out of committee with bipartisan support. But now, a group of progressive Democrats is pressuring Klobuchar (and Schumer) to change the bill so it wouldn’t limit content moderation on those platforms. In other words, they don’t want the anti-trust regulations to prevent them from filtering out and silencing conservative speech online. (The Hill)
Four Senate Democrats asked Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) to revise a key antitrust bill that they said could “supercharge harmful content online” as written.
In a letter Wednesday, Sens. Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Ben Ray Luján (N.M.) and Tammy Baldwin (Wisc.) said they support the overall goal of the bill to rein in the power of tech giants — but said it could lead to unintended consequences that would limit companies’ ability to moderate violative content.
“Our understanding is that you do not intend for the bill to limit content moderation in this way, and we want to work with you to fix this issue,” they wrote.
I’m sure that Klobuchar and Schumer have no problem with making sure that conservative voices can be silenced. They have both tacitly endorsed such actions in the past. But they won’t be able to get the bill over the finish line without some Republican support. While there were GOP senators who were willing to go along with the anti-trust aspect of the legislation, this content-suppression demand will likely be a bridge too far for every GOP senator.
If the bill switches from a strictly anti-trust effort to something that is actively damaging for conservatives who are worried about Twitter and Facebook taking down conservative speech, the entire effort could easily wind up on the junk heap alongside Build Back Better, the “voting reform” bills, and the rest of Joe Biden’s agenda. And would you really be surprised? The Dems actually came up with an idea that could draw at least some moderate GOP support and could have made it to Joe Biden’s desk to give him another win before the midterms. But they had to demand a poison pill be stuck into it that could very well sink the whole thing.