US Senate votes to protect Net Neutrality

Unfortunately, this victory is mostly symbolic:

Senate Democrats, joined by three Republicans, pushed through a measure Wednesday intended to revive Obama-era internet rules that ensured equal treatment for all web traffic, though opposition in the House and the White House seems insurmountable. Republicans on the short end of the 52-47 vote described the effort to reinstate “net neutrality” rules as “political theater” because the GOP-controlled House is not expected to take up the issue and the Senate’s margin could not overcome a presidential veto.

Democrats, however, were undeterred, saying their push would energize young voters who are tech savvy and value unfettered access to the internet. “This is a defining vote. The most important vote we’re going to have in this generation on the internet,” said Democratic Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, who sponsored the measure.

Just an observation, and your mileage may vary greatly: It's one thing to "think" about something helping you in the November Election, but it could serve to undermine that hope if you put it into words. The implication of Markey's statement is, "It doesn't matter if this vote actually changes anything now, if it helps us take over Congress." The same can be said to a certain degree of some comments made by Democratic lawmakers yesterday in Raleigh. Many of those teachers actually "lobbied" GOP lawmakers to point out deficiencies in funding and make suggestions for improvement. For them, it wasn't "just about November," it was about being heard. What's my point? Republicans in both DC and NC accuse the Democratic Party of using issues and the people affected for political purposes, and casual statements affirming that accusation are not helpful, no matter how excited you get in the moment.

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More lecturing, swim at your own risk...

We are social animals, and we tend to follow trends. We tend to take on some of the attributes of even the people we abhor, if we see their behavior helps them succeed. In the age of Trump, where every day brings a new level of narcissistic self-aggrandizement, behavioral norms are subject to radical change. We're seeing it all across the country, and we'd be foolish to assume it only affects certain people.

By the same token, the level of arrogance displayed by GOP leaders like Berger & Moore has also grown. Whether that is connected to Trumpism or is simply a result of their continued dominance of state government almost doesn't matter. It exists, and it can influence the posture of others, even those in opposition. At least subliminally, it may condition us to believe arrogance is is a key element of political success. But the average person can only stand so much of that in a leader before it flips, and becomes a massive character flaw.

So, defining the difference between "confident" (a good thing) and "arrogant" (a bad thing) is something Democratic politicians need to be savvy at. There may be a wide gap between the two in theory, but it's real damn easy to step from the former to the latter if you're not careful. Case in point: You can place me square in the Hillary camp (even though I voted for Bernie), but in much of her televised debates with Donald Trump, her confidence more often morphed into smugness than steadfastness. In many ways I admire her control, because I would have (literally) kicked his ass on live television. But that smug expression returned over and over again, and you could almost read her mind there was no way a even a sizeable minority of Americans would fall for his snake-oil routine.

She was justified in that belief, but she was wrong to telegraph that via facial expressions and such. And that is really what I'm talking about. Our policy positions are solid, but our character is also a factor in whether NC voters decide to put Democrats back in power. And arrogance has no place in that character, no matter how good it feels in the moment.