Lobbyists from the copyright industry, from Hollywood to big software and big media corporations, along with some small-minded unions, are preparing to make a final push for SOPA/PROTECT-IP, the legislative power grab that threatens to destroy and censor the Internet. And sadly, the corporate media, even MSNBC, is refusing to cover the debate, for obvious reasons.
But in the grassroots, across the country, a firestorm is brewing. Anti-SOPA/PROTECT-IP activism has flooded websites like Reddit, liberal blogs like DailyKos, and even RedState’s Erick Erickson and Tea Party-types like Ali Akbar have enthusiastically joined the fray. When Congress gets back from recess next week, there will be a citizen uprising; I can guarantee it.
The New York Times reports that the original cosponsor of the bill, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) — who laughably violates copyright law on his own website — is facing unexpected anger in his home district over the effort. But what about the other cosponsors?
That’s the question for Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA), a rising star in the Chinese American community and among California Democrats. In my estimation, after seeing her stellar, cross-racial victory in the special election in 2009, her savvy floor speeches, and her overall approach to lawmaking, she could be first female Chinese American U.S. Senator. I’m serious. She’s that good, and Boxer will retire after her current term, so the real opportunity is there in 2016.
Chu, however, is one of the first co-sponsors of SOPA. She signed onto the bill in late November, about a month after Smith introduced it.
Joining the effort to destroy the Internet as we know it will forever tarnish Chu’s record. If she wants Bahrain-style web censorship, that will stay with her, especially when she needs the tech and youth community to support her future campaigns. Moreover, SOPA doesn’t only smother liberty, it crushes tech innovation, the lifeblood of California’s economy. Support SOPA, and Chu bids farewell at any prospect of running statewide.
On the other hand, if Chu breaks from the bill and becomes the first bonafide SOPA sponsor to switch teams, she would become famous for all the right reasons over night. Do the right thing, congresswoman.