Observations on the world today.

Monday, March 29, 2004

A Mule in Every Pot 

Kevin Drum of the Political Animal had this to say about Bush's Broadband proposal:
These guys really don't even pretend to care about whether stuff is possible before they start yapping about it, do they? Besides, I thought Republicans were in favor of the free market handling this kind of stuff. What's with the "bold plan"?
Here is the story:
President Bush on Friday called for affordable high-speed Internet access for all Americans by 2007 in a speech that left many Washington insiders curious as to the timing.

Campaigning in Albuquerque, Bush also said that once universal, affordable broadband is a reality, ''we ought to make sure that as soon as possible thereafter consumers have plenty of choices."

But while the specifics of the proposal were vague and the topic hardly controversial, it was the first time in nearly two years the president talked about broadband Internet service.

Executives in the telecom and electronics industries have urged Bush to publicly support broadband as a way of boosting the economy and generating jobs. They thought he would promote broadband in his 2003 State of the Union address, but it never happened.
Now don't get me wrong. I would love universal access to broadband for all Americans. I truly would. But then, I'm a democrat.

The only problem I have with this is not the timing (as the story I linked indicates) but the time-frame. There is not even fiber-optic cable access in much of the country, let alone the infrastructure to make this feasable.

It is the 21st century equivilent of the chicken-in-every-pot kind of political promise.

Of course, if he wins reelection in November, it will be a promise he will be expected to live up to. (Just like he lived up to "No Child Left Behind") And when he tries to "live up to the promise," it will probably end up being far less than what we are being promised and far more a financial Halliburton-like boon for his pals Rupert Murdoch and the gang at AT&T. Which makes it not so much a chicken/pot promise as it is a "forty acres and a mule" promise.

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