Al Franken Slams Ted Cruz’s Ignorance on Net Neutrality (Video)

al-franken-1When it comes to this sudden Republican opposition to net neutrality, I’m not sure if it’s derived from actual knowledge about what net neutrality is or simply because President Obama came out in support of it which naturally means they’re going to oppose it.

Recently two well-known Texas Republicans, Rick Perry and Ted Cruz, have come out against net neutrality – though their comments were more bizarre than anything else. First, Cruz tried to compare net neutrality to “Obamacare,” then just a few days after that we saw Perry reference the Great Depression while speaking out against it.

And while I found both of their comments to be absolutely ridiculous, I still couldn’t really tell if either knew what the hell they were talking about. The comments were so absurd that it’s difficult to tell if they were being serious about a topic they claim to know something about, or they were simply doing what Republicans have done since election night 2008 by opposing anything and everything President Obama supports.

Well it seems I’m not alone in my feelings about the idiocy spewed by these two, as Minnesota Senator Al Franken recently told CNN’s Candy Crowley that after being made aware of Cruz’s comments on net neutrality he doesn’t think the Texas senator has any idea what it actually is.

“He has it completely wrong and just doesn’t understand what this issue is,” Franken said. “We’ve had net neutrality the entire history of the internet.”

And that’s a point every American needs to realize. Net neutrality means preserving the internet that we know now. The internet where you pay for a particular speed from your internet provider and every single website you visit is delivered to you at that speed.

Franken then went on to explain a bit further why Cruz’s comments made no sense.

“Obamacare was a government program that fixed something that changed things,” Franken clarified for Cruz. “This is about reclassifying something so it stays the same. This would keep things exactly the same that they’ve been.”

Another excellent point. The Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) was about fixing a broken system. Net neutrality, and Obama’s push to classify it as a public utility, is about keeping the internet exactly how it’s been since Americans began using it in their everyday lives. 

It’s baffling to me that anyone besides people running big telecom companies like Verizon or Comcast would want to see net neutrality end.

This shouldn’t be a political issue. It’s not “left vs. right.” It’s a battle between Americans who like the internet how it’s always been vs. those who want to see internet service providers have complete control over their access to the internet.

It really is that simple. Net neutrality is about keeping the internet the way it’s always been: a free and open source for innovation and information. So when people like Ted Cruz and Rick Perry stand there acting as if net neutrality is some “over-regulated innovation killer that gives an unfair advantage to big business,” they’re either lying because these big ISP corporations are paying them off or they simply don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.

I just hope more politicians like Al Franken continue speaking out against the ignorance being spewed by those who seem to be working for these big ISP providers instead of the American people.

Watch the segment below via CNN

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • buricco

    I have friends left, right and center who support net neutrality. Because we, as content providers, NEED it.

  • gop4ever

    For the record, Cruz is a Teaparty member, not GOP

    • SluttyMary

      For the record, the tea party twats are a subset of the GOP, hence the (R) after his name.

      • gop4ever

        Hey, I thought I would try to spin it anyway. I had high hopes the teaparty would include some left leaning members but he evangelical minions jumped on board too quick.

      • SluttyMary

        NO, what you tried to do is LIE outright…. and you got caught.

      • gop4ever

        To act as if the Teaparty is a nationwide unified movement is a bit of a lie don’t you think?

      • SluttyMary

        NO, many idiots are members of the tea party, but they ALL align themselves with republicans and run for office under the republican banner…. not a teaparty or independent banner.

      • regressive teaparty trash

        notice how he did NOT reply to that fact???

      • regressive teaparty trash

        who is acting as if it is a ‘nationwide unified movement’??
        tell us exactly WHO is— ( other than FOX “news”)

      • gop4ever

        Mmm the origins of teaparty are closely guarded.

      • regressive teaparty trash

        not so—- remnants redone VISAVIS “john birch society”……….already proved / proven

      • DavidD

        Not really,just follow the money.

      • TJDestry

        Instead of using the word “minion” you have the option of writing the word “moron” on your forehead. Either send the same message.

    • regressive teaparty trash

      he runs as a republican,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ergo: GOP
      nice try

  • Jim Valley

    This reminds me of right-wing objections to the Common Core educational standards, claiming that they represent a “federal takeover of education” (which they don’t, just like Obamacare is not a “federal takeover of healthcare”) and that they are “one size fits all” (which they most certainly are not, by design).

    Their ignorance of the standards is nearly complete, but they do know that they hate them. After all, the hated Obama favors them, so they must be bad.

    Today’s conservatives have the amazing ability to find the wrong, immoral, unproductive, foolish side of EVERY issue, seize upon it, then cling to it against all evidence, based on easily disprovable lies. It is as if they are all mentally ill.

    • JanMutcher

      Ah but you forget to mention that they also have the benefit of Fox News re-enforcing those lies to the extent that their viewers will defend to the death the total destruction of the country they claim to love.

      • Jim Valley

        They clearly hate Obama MUCH more than they love their country. Their hatred has crowded all of the humanity out of their souls. I don’t know WHAT these sad creatures have become. Less than human, that’s for sure.

      • DavidD

        No ,very human indeed.The type of behavior you denounce is not limited to one particular ideology.
        Calling people less than human makes it all right to murder them because they are not human and we can’t have that sort of thing going on in a civil society.

      • Jim Valley

        Then the far-right conservatives should get their humanity back, and quickly. Normal people simply do not think or behave the way they do.

      • DavidD

        You have a lot higher conception of humanity than I do.
        I go with the ape with car keys model myself.
        The GOP has spent a lot of cash,effort and time to split off white working class people from their base in the Democratic Party.
        That won’t change overnight with no effort on the left to do so.
        The Democratic Party is not with those people anyway but with the uber rich who pay their bills just like the GOP but are liberal in personal matters but not necessarily economic matters.
        I still vote the straight Democratic ticket every election because the GOP is the greater threat but a lot of people have given up on Electoral Democracy.
        Unless the Democratic Party can change it’s leadership and return to it’s populist roots then I don’t see the situation changing much.

  • Jim Bean

    Today, the Internet is essentially unregulated and unfettered by the federal government. But President Obama is calling for the FCC to reclassify the Internet as a utility and heavily regulate ISPs as if they’re monopolies, which they’re not. He’s using the debate to give the FCC enormous power over Internet pricing, products and service.

    Net neutrality is not an issue. Federal regulation of the Internet is. That is the only threat consumers need to worry about.

    • Pipercat

      In the spirit of our recent detente, I would like to point out that the reason of the classification was because of the recent court ruling that threw out the existing rules due to the 70s era communications law. By classifying the internet as a utility gets around the deficiencies of the aforementioned antiquated law. Now Congress can update the law any time it wants; however, that happening within the next millennium is suspect at best.

      • regressive teaparty trash

        as I respect what U write I have a delightful gift 4U—-
        read ” AMERICAS CONSERVATIVE ROAD TO DESTRUCTION,,,,,,A BRIEF HISTORY” which was posted on aug 10 2014 on THE BLUE ROUTE by Bruce Bacon,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
        PLEASE read this; please share this with everyone- it is full of verified facts and is chilling in its accuracy

    • Jay Yarm

      How are they NOT monopolies? If the Comcast/Time Warner merger goes through, they will have around a 30% share of the business alone. Additionally, municipalities can, and do, contract with providers: in my town, cable is Comcast only and landline phone service is Centurylink only – when I moved here (all of 8 miles), I had to switch from Verizon and Cablevision.

      • Unknown Soldier

        Curious that you would defend new regulation by referring to the failure of anti-trust laws. The reality is, of course, that more competition will improve services. Therefore we should remove that regulation which makes it difficult for new competitors to succeed. Competition could easily be fostered by more satellite and/or terrestrial microwave companies. There is even the possibility of high-flying planes. But it’s quite difficult to develop these options, unless you’re a F.O.O.

    • Michael Keville

      Of Course they are monopolies.

    • Porst

      The ISPs are not competing with each other and staying out of each other’s markets. That is the definition of a monopoly.

      • regressive teaparty trash

        jimbo will not reply to that fact

    • FD Brian

      I’m not sure you understand the definition of monopoly if you don’t think ISP’s are monopolies.

    • Maestro Happy Valentine

      Publicly owned telecommunications networks offer lower prices and higher speeds than Comcast and AT&T and Time Warner. It is instructive that the first gigabit network was built not by a private company but by Chattanooga, a muni network. Today 40 cities in 13 states have locally owned gigabit networks.

    • Craig Freger

      You are woefully misinformed. Due to recent rulings, net neutrality is going to disappear unless the federal government steps in and reclassifies ISP’s as common carriers. This is essential to prevent ISPs from using their monopoly power to dictate what you see on the internet, what search engines you can use, how many ads you have to sit through to even get to the internet, and, most importantly, to keep them from using pricing and access speeds to control which information gets favored exposure. The only possible reason to oppose this is a blind opposition to all government regulation, If that is your problem, I suggest you move to Somalia and leave modern civilization to the rest of us.

      • e92m3

        Right, because 80% of the country with only a singular choice of broadband provider isn’t a monopoly at all.
        Notice how Comcast and TW managed to never compete directly? It’s a duopoly, basically a form of price fixing.
        Please, get a basic education. How can you be so dreadfully ignorant?

    • regressive teaparty trash

      jimbo————— please see: ”Comcast/time warner (potential merger”
      ive got one even better——————- which(sadly) U will totototally ignore— ready???
      read this james,,,read it slow– save your “opine” for afterwards— and pleeeeeeez note– all the FACTS presented in that long yet illuminating post ( aog 10 20914 in THE BLUE ROUTE by Bruce Bacon) are verifiably corroborated within that article,,,,,,,,,FACTS james; FACTS
      wanna bet me a whole “dolla” that’s U do NOT read it? ( all the way through– with comprehension; not just glancing)

      • Canadian Horse

        Hey Shim,

        Where is fatso? You fookin queer moron.

      • regressive teaparty trash

        ^^^^ looksee here^^^ everyone^^,,,,,,,,the OY HUMID ETC crybaby troll got thrown off AGAIN and hes baaaack!! hes baaaaack!! now trying to annoy gary M!!
        hey loser OY HUMID– I want U to make troll profile mocking me!!! I though I was your favorite!!
        hes baaaaack!

  • forpeace

    Ted Rafael Cruz is a pathological liar, calculative, manipulative, sleazy, and sneaky creature who represents Koch Industry.

    He knows what he is doing, he knows exactly what “Net Neutrality” is, and that’s why he is against it.

    Meanwhile, he is constantly lying to his misinformed and ignorant base because that is the only way for him to keep his base, and fools fall for it.

    • Thebob

      Since win is the Internet considered a PUBLIC SERVICE….You don’t need the internet to live everyday life… That is what all NN is about….taking YOUR RIGHTS AWAY along with the PRIVATE companies…NN is already in place the internet regulates itself once the government touches it, things will begin to break……The purpose of NN is to be able to stifle opinions…and take more control for the government. You people are idiots….You need to do more research on what exactly NN is and what it will be used for. The problem with our ISP’s is it is almost impossible to have true competition in the sector…The big 5 Time Warner Comcast, ATT, Verizon, Mediacom have to much power and provide monopolies in area’s they service. This is the issue. If there were more choices for ISP’s Comcast once to throttle down Netflix for it’s user’s then let them, They won’t be in business much longer if more competition existed. Its the same that happened with Ma’Bell and ATT…..But now the companies just don’t compete against each other because they know they don’t have too other than Dish and DirectTV they don’t have regions for their service….Probably like most people out there in my area we have 2 real choices for ISP’s and they both suck…

      • Shocked

        Your first sentence reveals you to be functionally illiterate. Why you would choose to side with the oppressive classes against the people is mind-boggling. You must really feel inferior to have interiorized so many stereotypes that are only self-defeating. You are a truly sad case. I feel very sorry for you.

      • Canadian Horse

        Do you work? Does your parents know that you are a libtard?

      • regressive teaparty trash

        ^^^^ new loser troll^^^ formerly OY HUMID and others; now hes baaaack !!!
        ^^^^^ new loser troll profile^^^^^
        hes baaaack…. no job/ no money/ no life
        hes baaaaack!!! OY HUMID!!!

      • forpeace

        How about you, Canadian Horse? Do you work?

        Do your parents know that you are a “Horse?”

      • Di Kelley

        The point in regulating it is *keeping* these big ISPs from doing just what you’re afraid the regulating would do. *break the internet*. Honestly I think the ISPs need to be forced to do one thing. Provide the service that they are being paid for. Period. They have no business regulating the speed at which a customer that is already paying for their service accesses certain sites. Net Neutraility, it’s a *good thing.*

  • Debo Jenkins

    I am so tired of these bait and switch headlines! This was no where near a slam! WTHeck, I expected to hear Al rip these fools a new one!

  • BkDodge42

    Al Franken is the one that is completely wrong and doesn’t understand what net neutrality is when he said that we’ve had net neutrality for the entire history of the internet. He seems to forget that in 2010 the FCC put in a rule that would be a net neutrality process, which only would have been necessary if there had not been net neutrality before 2010. The Supreme Court ruled against it in Version v FCC.

    Sorry Al, you’re pointing your finger the wrong way, aim it back at yourself for not knowing that internet providers had been able to provide different levels of service.

  • ThomasCampbell

    So, as far as I can tell, this whole site isn’t actually about reporting
    “news”; it’s just “reporting” about Conservatives, so they can piss off
    liberals and continue to sew divisiveness in America. Or am I missing
    something here?
    Just about every article listed is about either the
    GOP or some other conservative issue. Where’s the part that’s supposed
    to be about going Forward and being “Progressive”? it all seems to be
    just a hodgepodge of creative conservative-bashing–basically, a rehash
    of all the negative campaign ads I saw during the recent election

    • John

      Well, the purpose this blog is apparently to promote discussion, not report news.

    • Thebob

      This is a lefist site dude…not a conservative one….More actually a socialist site but they won’t openly admit that one…..Also Net Neutrality is already in place…. We don’t need the government to regulate the internet, they will just break it like everything else they touch…..The whole thing about net neutrality would effectively end sites just like this, then free speech would be next…….Oh, wait that has already ended in this country. Nobody has to balls anymore to effectively use free speech….

      • tracey marie

        the 50’s needs their old fashioned words back

    • tracey marie

      what kind of stitch did liberals use when they “sewed: divisiveness?

      • ThomasCampbell

        LOL The same as the conservatives: the FUD stitch. 🙂

      • tracey marie

        now that was funny

    • Canadian Horse

      Are you queer or a tranny?

      • ThomasCampbell

        Neither. Happily married to the same wonderful woman for 30 years now. I was born a man, and–so far as I can tell–she was born a woman. Neither of us, again, so far as I know, have ever had a homosexual encounter. Why do you ask?

      • regressive teaparty trash

        Canadian horse is anew troll profile,,,,used to be OY HUMID and a series of others–he gets thrown off in a couple of days; re creates new TROLL profiles and returns
        he is “speshul”

      • regressive teaparty trash

        ^^^^ new troll profile^^^^……..formerly OY HUMID and a plethora of small dicked low self esteem loser troll profiles,,,,,,,,,,,, HES BAAAAACK!!
        praise jesus!! the crybaby OY HUMID^^^^^ is back yet again with another loser profile!!
        we are taking pool bets– how soon til his little– and I mean little– regressive white trash troll ass is banished again? 2 days??? one day??
        stay tuned!!