Ted Cruz Responds to Al Franken, Continues to Prove He Has No Idea What Net Neutrality Means (Video)

ted-cruz-net-neutrality-idiotI’ll be honest, I still don’t know if Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is either being a shill for big internet service providers, simply opposing net neutrality because President Obama supports it, has no clue what net neutrality even means or all of the above.

And while any of those choices are possible, when you look at the asinine things he’s said about net neutrality, I really just don’t think he has any idea what it actually means.

First, he said net neutrality is “Obamacare for the internet.” Something that might stir up fear among conservatives, but trying to compare the two would be like me saying I don’t like broccoli, therefore there’s no way I could drive a Ford F-150. Net neutrality and the Affordable Care Act literally have nothing to do with one another. There’s no correlation, no link – nothing. 

These comments then prompted Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to call out Cruz’s apparent ignorance about net neutrality, accusing the Texas senator of clearly not understanding what net neutrality means.

Well, Cruz apparently decided to respond to Franken’s comments by continuing to prove that he has no damn clue what net neutrality means.

Cruz said in a video:

“What happens when government starts regulating a service as a public utility. It calcifies everything. It freezes it in place. Let’s give a simple contrast. The Telecommunications Act of 1934 was adopted to regulate these (he brings out a rotary phone) to put regulations in place, and what happened? It froze everything in place. This is regulated by Title II. This is not (pulls out his iPhone). Your smartphone, the Internet, the apps. All of this is outside of Title II. The innovation is happening without having to go to government regulators and say mother may I. We want all whole lot more of this (emphasizes his smartphone) and a whole lot less of this (points at rotary phone).”

The glaring stupidity behind this example is that landline home phone technology didn’t remain as the same as this rotary phone he used. It’s not as if this rotary phone (I have no clue if it’s from 1934 or not, but Cruz implied that it was) he brought as an example remained the only style of technology used up until the last decade or so as landlines have become more or less obsolete. So I’m not really sure what exactly he’s claiming was “frozen in place.”

What President Obama is proposing is a measure to keep the internet exactly how it has always been. That’s it. He wants to reclassify it as a utility so that these greedy internet service providers like Verizon and Comcast can’t screw over businesses and consumers by charging websites fees so that their content will be delivered to the consumer at the speed for which they’re already paying.

Fighting to keep net neutrality is the epitome of protecting businesses and consumers from the unethical greed of an industry (ISP providers) that’s practically a monopoly in most areas of the country.

What these ISP’s want to do is be able to charge consumers for their internet at a certain speed, then charge websites another fee to have their content delivered to consumers at that speed.  It puts access to the internet completely in the hands of companies like Comcast and Verizon. If net neutrality dies, these companies will then be able to charge consumers whatever they want for internet access, yet in reality won’t have to deliver those speeds. Because the speed consumers will be paying for won’t matter if the websites themselves refuse to pay these fees to the ISP’s. What’s the point of paying for a 30 mbps download speed if the websites you visit are being restricted to 1 mbps because those sites won’t pay the ransoms demanded by these internet companies? Essentially the consumer will then be paying for an internet speed that they’re not being given to the websites they want to visit.

The only thing Senator Cruz accomplished with this video is confirm what Senator Franken said: He has absolutely no idea what net neutrality means.

Watch the video below:

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

  • Pipercat

    My junior Senator in action. Stepping up to the fallacy buffet and walking away with a heaping plate of straw man’s delight!

  • TaxPaying American Voter

    AL Franken should have never LOWERED himself to answer to cruz. It’s like talking to a dog pile. No matter what he tells him he is still full of sh!t.

    • But if you *don’t* reply to these people, then whatever they said that needs to be refuted becomes ‘true’. What are we going to hear?
      “ObamaCare for the Internet” which fits on a bumper sticker or “Net neutrality is the means by keeping the speed of the internet the same for everyone using the internet. Companies will not be able to throttle the speed of the internet for people who don’t pay extra.” which doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker.

  • Jim Valley

    They say Cruz is brilliant. Frankly, I’m not seeing it. I see a right-wing nutjob extremist.

    • Pipercat

      Actually, it was Alan Dershowitz who called him brilliant.

      • Jim Valley

        I have read many articles about Cruz highlighting his unusual intelligence. I don’t know if any of them were by Dershowitz, but the two most consistent comments about Cruz are that he is smart and that he is an insufferable jerk who nobody likes. Even people from his earliest school days still remember him and hate him, smart or not.

      • Pipercat

        Republican office holders, here in Texas, hate his ass.

      • Jim Valley

        Why is he succeeding if nobody likes him? Or IS he succeeding?

      • Pipercat

        Tea party activism is strong here. Dan Patrick was elected Lieutenant Governor and he makes Cruz look sane…

      • Jim Valley

        That’ll do it, I guess.

      • Rob E. Son

        Yes he just has that constant smirk that we all used to love to punch. I’m surprised his face isn’t permanently scarred.

  • David MacWilliams

    No, you’re wrong. Ted Cruz graduated from Princeton and then graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. He IS intelligent and absolutely DOES know what net neutrality means. What he’s doing is pandering to the dull, hillbilly right wing base that are too stupid to realize that they’re voting against their own best interests. Not to mention that he’s been getting huge donations from cable companies who are the ultimate beneficiaries of this legislation if it’s enacted. That should be the story, not “Let’s make fun of poor Ted Cruz because he’s stupid”. We need to be hammering home, over and over, that this is a simple concept and that he’s obviously in the pocket of these companies.

    • JustTheFactsMa’am

      Darn! You beat me to it. I was going to say the same thing, less the college part. I’m sure he knows *exactly* what it means. And he’s doing his job, what he’s being paid to do – by the big cable companies.

    • Pipercat

      There is a word for what he is doing, contempt.

      • Teresa Groves

        Another – more accurate – word is “corrupt”.

      • Pipercat

        Corrupt contemptuousness?

    • K.M.

      David I have to say you’re spot on there. Most of these guys, they’re not dumb. They’re not even ignorant. They’re doing precisely what they need to do in order to be elected.

    • MJ Madrid

      Are you sure Cruz is intelligent? Dubya also graduated from an Ivy League university.

    • 2Smart2bGOP

      As countless actors have proved, you have to be a really smart person to be able to play really dumb person.

  • gatorfan

    And what he’s trying to do by conflating the Affordable Care Act with Net Neutrality is to use conservative “code” to say that it would be a “government takeover” of the “free market” of the internet. I keep saying we need bumper sticker slogans to keep it simple for people. “The End of Net Neutrality = The Beginning of the CyberMafia”.

  • crabjack

    “Obamacare for the internet” It’s obvious. It’s hate/fear politics. The conservative guard has gotten the flock to hate and fear Obamacare, so they want to associate internet neutrality with their distorted perception of healthcare.

  • Gal Spunes

    ISPs spend huge amounts of money on network infrastructure. They own it – not you, not the government. They have every right to structure a business model that charges varying rates in accordance with the *value* their infrastructure provides. This *value* is not the same for everyone. If Netflix wants to ensure that Comcast routes their traffic consistently to Netflix customers, then Comcast should charge Netflix a higher rate for this valuable service. No free lunch.

    You have no right to use their infrastructure. You have no right to an Internet connection. It is a private service. Pay for it, or don’t…your choice. If the ISPs screw the individual consumer too much, they will lose accounts and their business model will collapse.

    Of course, we could *deregulate* the landscape that makes it harder for competitors to enter the ISPs marketplace….

    • PeedroPaula

      And which particular ISP are you shilling for?

      • Gal Spunes

        Come on…don’t be silly.

        I’m a Comcast customer, and I think their service is dog shit.

        Nevertheless, much like free speech, I will stand up for the private property/business rights of those companies I find disgusting.

      • PeedroPaula

        Not my explanation but an apt one:

        “The phone company has no say in whether I order from Pizza Hut instead of Domino’s. The power company has no say in whether I use a Maytag washer instead of a Kenmore. Why should my ISP have a say in whether I subscribe to Netflix instead of Amazon Prime?”

        The internet has been working just fine all along the way it is. Why do you want to change it? Why do you want Comcast to decide that you cannot stream movies on Netflix because Netflix won’t pay additional fees for additional access speed? Why do you want to allow Comcast to determine that you can access Website A at top speed, but if you want to access Website B, you’ll have to wait as the data travels at the lowest available speed? You understand that the fee Comcast charges you for monthly internet service will not change at all, only your choice in websites you may access, right? I sincerely don’t understand why anyone who doesn’t work for ISPs would not support Net Neutrality.

      • Gal Spunes


        The response is simple.

        Private property rights.

        Comcast (or whoever) has this vast network of ‘wires’ that it spends considerable sums of money to install and maintain.

        If it decides that some other service (eg. Netflix) is swamping its bandwidth with streaming services, why shouldn’t it say “hey! you are benefiting from our network because we provide the highway to the homes in our regions..you’re making good money selling your services, on the back of our infrastructure. You’re dominating traffic for other services…so either we have to throttle you to enable other traffic to achieve satisfactory QoS, or you need to pay us for prioritized bandwidth.”

        Primarily, it’s a question of respecting private property rights…an ISP can manage its physical network infrastructure any way it wishes.

        Secondly, it’s a matter of economics and sound business models.

        Finally….the whole FCC should be abolished. It’s unConstitutional. What happened to the telecoms was a horrifically illegal abuse of government power.

      • PeedroPaula

        I guess we have a very basic disagreement then. If you are paying “X” amount of dollars for the maximum speed offered for your internet service (which is the current business model), you will not be getting what you paid for unless Comcast lets you access EVERY website at that speed. Am I right?

      • Gal Spunes

        Correct. If you have a contract that specifies a certain level of service, then that is what you must receive. This is a matter of contract law, no need for government intrusion.

        What ‘Net Neutrality’ will hamper is the ability of ISPs to structure their offerings in a way that maximizes the utility of their infrastructure, while meeting their fiduciary responsibilities.

        Getting the FCC involved by declaring ISPs a ‘public utility’ will raise costs and stifle innovation.

        All this commotion has been caused by the government deciding that it has the magical authority (found nowhere in the Constitution, natch) to just decide, out of thin air, that because a business is highly successful and widely popular and useful, that it must now be seized and regulated.

        In socialist regimes, this is the way things are done. Not America.

      • PeedroPaula

        I’m a socialist and prefer it that way.

      • Gal Spunes

        I applaud your honesty.

        I am not a socialist, and will do all I can to prevent America being ruined by such an ideology. The old world was left behind for a reason.

  • Avatar

    Ted wasn’t right about 1934 tech. It goes way back than that. But it’s not important. What most quisling about Ted’s respond to Al Franken is that Ted acts like he is superior over far more credible politician than Ted is. Al Franken passed many bills that actually works for Americans.

    Ted knew what he said is lies but he just done it out of spite of stupidest people who frown upon on Ted like he is an anointed one from god.

  • npeben

    There is some interesting comments on Ted’s Facebook page on this topic. Many of his “followers” (like a cult) agree with him purely because it is Ted stating it, not because of any factual information. Completely oblivious to even what this is — blind followers.

    Just tell people their porn will be slower, then they may pay attention.

  • Jack Engle

    Ted is the kid in class who sat on a stool in the corner with the dunce cap on.