Conspiracy time: Pai is playing the fool thus reinforcing the (absurd) notion that the FCC has no business in the net neutrality debate (or non-mobile internet in general). He's said many times he'd like the FTC to handle it (e.g. https://www.theverge.com/2017/4/7/15215316/fcc-ajit-pai-net-neutrality-title-ii-plans-roll-back).
I doubt that's quite it, though. I really do believe that Pai is incompetent enough to flounder as he did.