Reflexive Anti-Liberalism.

Kevin Drum is baffled by conservative opposition to "net neutrality":

I've had an email conversation lately with a conservative reader who is absolutely convinced that this is an effort by Democrats to rid the internet of conservative voices. But as Zornick notes, this is nuts. The whole point of net neutrality is just the opposite: it would continue to allow internet providers to discriminate on the basis of volume but not on content. So if you're a heavy internet user and have a lot of bits streaming through your pipe, they can charge you more. But that's it. They can't charge either content providers or you based on what you say or who you are. It's hard to think of anything that should assuage conservative concerns more. And yet, somehow this has become the latest grand conspiracy theory. It's craziness.

This isn't hard to explain. At this point, most conservatives are reflexively anti-liberal. If liberals like something, then conservatives will find a reason to hate it, even when the rationale is absurd. In this case, conservatives should want to maintain a free and open internet, but since both are associated with liberals, they don't. The same goes for the new START or the 9/11 responders bill. Neither measure was controversial, but the mere fact of liberal support guaranteed conservative opposition. And of course, as long as conservatives are committed to an ideology of anti-liberalism, there is little reason to expect compromise or "bipartisanship" out of the incoming 112th Congress.

-- Jamelle Bouie

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