TikTok Ban Won’t Happen

House passes a bill that could lead to a TikTok ban if Chinese owner refuses to sell.

House passage of the bill is only the first step. The Senate would also need to pass the measure for it to become law, and lawmakers in that chamber indicated it would undergo a thorough review. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he’ll have to consult with relevant committee chairs to determine the bill’s path.

“…consult with relevant committee chairs.” In other words, never.

The US government has been on the verge of a TikTok ban since 2019, and it never happens. I predict nothing will happen here either. The odds of TikTok being banned are about zero. Either it will find a suitor or the legislation will be punted indefinitely. To actually ban it even though it did not violate any specific laws would set a precedent of the US censoring speech for arbitrary or ad hoc reasons, which no one wants to go down that path.

Even if TikTok is literal Chinese spyware that threatens national security interests–even though Facebook, Google, etc. also spy on Americans, yet this is perfectly fine–the inability or unwillingness to do anything agrees with earlier posts about the decline of the Executive Branch. Unless it involves financial crisis or war, the US government cannot be compelled to act with much expediency. This is good when it comes to business interests but otherwise why any hope of undoing societal decay is doomed to failure.

This sentiment is also echoed by Moldbug in his recent article, in which the executive branch has become a comparably impotent administrative or managerial one instead:

Look at the past—the control of the White House over the so-called “executive branch” has only dwindled over the century. How different is DC, in practice, today, from the structure Wilson himself described in Congressional Government? We don’t have an executive branch. We have an administrative branch—the creature of the Article I and Article III branches. The root of this branch is the exceptional (in the sense of Carl Schmitt) decision of Madison v. Marbury (1803)—in which Article III seized sovereignty by a successful act of arbitrary power. History squeezes in.