Memo to John McCain:

Al Gore wants his campaign back.

Al Gore may have invented the internet, but if there was one Senator in the history of the Senate that topped Al Gore’s amazing feat, it would be one John Sidney McCain.  According to Team McCain, he not only invented the Blackberry, but he invented wi-fi and cellular phones as well.

Actually, the second link there is a pretty good read.  The whole invention thing, as anyone who bemoaned the coverage Al Gore received for the actual quote, “took the initiative in creating the internet,” is the intent of senate-speak getting lost in translation.

When you’re in the senate, if you create something, it really just means that you championed the legislation that allowed something to come to fruition.  But, as the D-Kos link above rightly points out, even under this definition John McCain and his campaign are lying:

With the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Senate passed the first major revision to telecommunications law in 62 years which provided the foundation for much of the cell phone and Internet regulation over the next decade.  The bill passed 81-18 and was signed into law by President Clinton.  McCain voted against the act.

In 2002, McCain authored the “Consumer Broadband Deregulation Act of 2002” which eliminated the requirement of the 1996 law that telecommunication companies provide access to competitors.  It didn’t pass.

In 2003, the Internet Tax Freedom Act was passed, putting in place a moratorium on taxes for activities on the Intenet. The bill had 11 cosponsors – McCain wasn’t one of them. He did vote for the bill, but since it passed 97-3, that’s definitely “guiding” with a small ‘g.’  Granted, this wasn’t directly a bill about wireless, but since McCain doesn’t seem to have authored any law on wireless technology, I’m having to search for connections.

Of pending legistlation, McCain is not a sponsor of the “Connect the Nation Act” – though Senator Obama is. McCain is not a sponsor of Senator Rockefeller’s call for a universal next generation broadband by 2015 – though Senator Obama is. And of course, McCain isn’t a sponsor of the “Internet Freedom Act” that would ensure net neutrality – though Senator Obama is. That last is no surprise. McCain has repeatedly opposed net neutrality, saying that companies have a right to restrict speed or even limit access to sites “when you control the pipe you should be able to get profit from your investment.”

So,  McCain’s “guiding hand” seems to consist of opposing the legislation that laid the groundwork for the communications we have today, and authoring failed legislation designed to benefit big carriers. Of course, we should probably be glad that John McCain really didn’t invent the cell phone or wifi, otherwise we’d all be getting our wireless services from one monolithic company free to restrict our access to only the pages that pay for the privilege. And we’d all be using “Jitterbugs.”

Shorter: John McCain helped usher America into the information age by opposing it every step of the way.

Thus, while Al Gore was seen as a liar because he was misquoted and the intent of his comment was destroyed in translation, John McCain was simply lying.

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