In the history of legislative and executive actions that have ever taken place, though, it's worth noting that many of them were spurred because of public awareness and outcry that preceded them. Does anyone here really think that SOPA was indefinitely tabled because Congressmembers suddenly read the bill and had a change of mind? Or was it because their offices received more calls and emails in than they likely did in the run-up to the Iraq and Afghan wars combined?
Or, alternatively, because the executive branch believed it already had the authority the bill would have provided (since they shut down MegaUpload the very next day).
I'm very cynical about things like 'awareness', because it's all too easy for politicians and lobbyists, who think about these issues every day, to slip something else by eventually. Most of the policy changes that we deride today as regressive were themselves not a 'first attempt'.
Ironically, I'm even more cynical than you. I don't think that politicians think about these issues every day...I think they think about the "big" hot-button issues (health care, taxes) and otherwise spend most of their time campaigning to stay in office... and that is why the SOPA protest worked...SOPA would've sailed through considering it's extremely wide bipartisan support...but it's not because the politicians were in a backroom scheming about it. All it takes is a few politicians who agree with the lobbyists; the rest will go along with a given issue as long as there's no political fallout...because there is always political fallout in voting against an ally.
Once people started e-mobbing the offices en masse, then the just-go-with-it majority realized there was political fallout. And for better or worse, that legislation and virtually any similar legislation in the future, will not be seen as benign. That is a huge hurdle for lobbyists to overcome.
That's simply not the case, though. It's trivial for them (lobbyists) to disguise it as an unrelated issue, using whatever common bogeyman is popular at the time (drugs, child porn, terrorism).
This is exactly what has happened time and again.