Thank you for all your messages regarding Protect IP. I agree there are real concerns with the current legislation & I’m working to make important changes to the bill. We must work to strike a balance between ending online piracy to protect New York jobs & ensuring Internet freedom so our tech community can continue to flourish.
In other words, she was saying, "we'll keep tinkering, but I'm not abandoning this bill."
But with Republicans abandoning the bill, effectively killing it, Democrats were left holding this stinker of a bill, and inevitably, they had no choice but to start abandoning it. And today, we just heard that next week's Senate vote has been indefinitely postponed.
Now that the bill is essentially dead, Gillibrand wants to play the hero, writing on her Facebook page:
While many of my colleagues and I have worked hard to address concerns with the current bill, it is clear this proposal will not create consensus on how to crack down on the real problem of online theft that threatens tens of thousands of New York jobs in a balanced way that ensures our tech companies will continue to flourish. It is time for Congress to take a step back and start over with both sides bringing their solutions to the table to find common ground towards solving this problem.
She wants Congress to step back! Except Congress already stepped back. At that point, she was left the choice of being a dead-ender, or pretending that she had some role in killing the bill in its current form.
She wants to sound reasonable and accommodating, when she pushed for this current legislation until it died. And it's obvious to see why. Gillibrand is up for reelection this year, but will coast easily. There is no statewide GOP left in New York, and they're having a hard time coming up with even token opposition to her chances. No, this isn't about her statewide race, it's about 2016.
Gillibrand will be running for president after Obama's second term expires. She has aggressively raised her national profile in recent years, to the point of campaigning for Democrats in recall races in Wisconsin last summer. She has also employed an aggressive netroots strategy to make connections with the activist online community. No one does those things unless they 1) are trying to build a national movement, or 2) they want a promotion to the biggest stage in the land. It's obviously not the former.
And there are few more fertile grounds for money and headline-grabbing than Hollywood. Thus, Gillibrand did her best to cling to this shitty bill in order to curry favor with future donors and backers. But given the backlash among the technology/online set—another constituency she's been wooing, she now tries to play the hero, as if she had anything to do with killing this bill.
She didn't. And while everyone can decide for themselves whether they give a shit or not, it's not something that I, personally, will have an easy time forgetting.