[Cross-posted on Blue Mass Group.]
In recent days, you may have seen on television a campaign advertisement from Republican Scott Brown's Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren, calling for greater investment in infrastructure that would both put people back to work and rebuild our crumbling bridges and roads. In the ad, she makes a comparison against one of our nation's leading economic competitors, noting that China spends 9% of its GDP on infrastructure compared with 2.4% for America.
Simply pointing out a need for greater infrastructure investment sure didn't sit well with Republican Scott Brown. (Perhaps he was afraid that it would remind voters of the tens of thousands of jobs for Massachusetts that he has voted against.) Did Brown respond with a thoughtful policy analysis or a thorough plan for addressing our nation's aging infrastructure? Nope. (Does he ever?) Brown and his right-wing allies pointed to Warren's simple statistical comparison with China and started clucking in unison that Warren wanted America to be more like China.
On August 1, Republican Scott Brown's campaign posted a press release referring to Warren's ad as the "Be More Like Communist China!" ad. On August 2, Brown's name was on a campaign e-mail with the subject line "Be more like China??" and falsely argued that Warren's simple statistical comparison meant that she was "holding up China, with its repressive government policies, as the model for American progress."
Put aside, for a moment, the fact that Republican Scott Brown was attacking infrastructure investment to rebuild our bridges and roads on the five-year anniversary of the Minneapolis bridge collapse, in which "13 people died and another 145 were injured one of the worst bridge disasters in U.S. history." Put aside, for a moment, the fact that, as of October 2010, Massachusetts was home to 475 "structurally deficient" bridges.
Let's focus on the fact that, while Republican Scott Brown is basing his entire campaign on distortion after distortion after distortion, and while he is hurling mud at his opponent for making a simple statistical comparison to China, Brown himself has, on multiple occasions, unfavorably compared the America to China!
Back in November of 2010, Republican Scott Brown made a speech at the University of Louisville's McConnell Center. (Yes, the McConnell Center was established by the Republicans' current Senate leader - effectively Brown's "boss" in the Senate - Mitch McConnell.) During the speech, Brown made an interesting comparison:
And [Brown] urged that restrictions be eased on American businesses, saying the country can never compete globally as long as it takes 10 months to put up a building in China or India that would take up to four years to build here.
Uh oh. It sounds like Brown wants America to emulate China! But surely that is the only time he unfavorably compared America to China, right? Nope. Fast forward six months, and shift the scene from Louisville, Kentucky, to the Black Swan Country Club in Georgetown, Massachusetts, before the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce:
Problems stem from a number of places, [Brown] said. Thanks to layers of bureaucracy, it takes the U.S. years to build a 500,000-square-foot building that can be constructed in China in months, he said. Other countries are putting up wind turbines in a fraction of the time that states here are able to do the same thing, he said.
Wow! Republican Scott Brown sure sounds like he wants America to "be more like Communist China!"
Maybe we can chalk this up to Republican Scott Brown being geographically challenged. After all, his "Let America Be America Again" video features European businesses and workers posing as American businesses and workers. Does Republican Scott Brown really want America to be America again or does he want America to be Europe or China?
It's no surprise that Republican Scott Brown would hypocritically attack his opponent over something silly. As has been pointed out by many, his campaign has been lacking in substance and seriousness. Just don't mention that to Brown. You remember the last time somebody asked him whether his campaign was lacking substance, right?