So Scott Brown Wants America to Be More Like China

Scott Brown can't run on the issues, because he doesn't represent Massachusetts, so he is running on Republican invective. - promoted by Bob_Neer

[Cross-posted from the ProgressMass blog.  Like ProgressMass on Facebook and follow on Twitter.]

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?

Recommended by jkleschinsky, kloechner.


5 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. From a purely political perspective I thought it was a smart move

    She clearly said “we should be more like China” (when i comes to infrastructure). I’m paraphrasing but not much. Her commercial is all over the place.

    He said (again a paraphrase) “we’re not like China” and did it on a blog.

    It’s a campaign, after all. She put it out there, he responded. Let’s see her use your quote above and see if people go back and accuse him of doublespeak.

    Brown could claim he was talking about private enterprises with buildings and wind turbines, while Warren was talking about public infrastructure, which is more complex, often involves taking land, and could have negative consequences on some citizens (like a proposal to widen the McGrath & O’Brien). In China of course these are non-issues.

    BTW the Newburyport News is an Eagle Tribune publication so on BMG they should not be considered a credible source.

    • saying that...

      … the Joker is more effective than Batman is not a comparison, it is a spur for Batman to be more effective than the Joker…

  2. It shouldn't be a contest.

    We know there are things that Europe does better than we do, and now there is apparently one thing that China does better than we do. Yet some people will scream bloody murder if we are at all hestitant about saying the USA is the greatest nation on earth. We certainly CAN be that, and we have been, but being #1 doesn’t just happen; we hae to be deliberate in our policy making for it to be so. Given that it’s a TV show I don’t want to guarantee its accuracy, but this is something to ponder.

    • More than one thing

      There’s more than one thing that China does better.Have you watched any of the Olympics? If you were in China, you could watch all of every event live.

      I’m not saying that would make it worthwhile to live under their despotic government, but it’s nonsense to pretend that the US does everything (or all but one thing) better than China does. We’d be smart to emulate those things that other countries do well, if we can do them while keeping our freedoms and values. You know – things like single-payer healthcare, limited global ambitions and military spending, a working public transit network, well-maintained infrastructure, affordable quality education. I don’t think China does most of those things, but other countries do, and we could, too. They are all things that benefit everyone, but the reason we’re not doing any of them is because they won’t immediately make our rich people richer.

      It’s a tragedy that making those people richer has become our national priority. It has not always been that way,and it doesn’t have to be.

  3. "REPORT: Fox Spends Over 43 Minutes Smearing Elizabeth Warren"

    If anyone wonders where Scott Brown gets his batcrapcrazy wingnuttery:

    REPORT: Fox Spends Over 43 Minutes Smearing Elizabeth Warren

    Over three days, Fox News spent at least 17 segments and over 43 minutes of airtime smearing Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren over benign comments she made about infrastructure spending and the success of the wealthy.

    On July 30, Democrats announced that Warren will be given a key speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina in September.

    In response to that announcement, Fox, over the following three days, seized on benign remarks Warren had previously made in an effort to smear her. Warren’s opponent is Sen. Scott Brown, whom Fox relentlessly campaigned for in 2010.

    One of the comments Fox fixated on came from a recent ad released by Warren’s campaign. Fox claimed that in the ad, Warren said she wanted the United States to be “like China” and that she may have “call[ed] for America to go communist.” In fact, the Senate candidate said that the U.S. should increase its infrastructure spending in order to compete with countries like China. Warren’s comment — which is supported by studies showing that U.S. infrastructure is deteriorating and needs significant investment — echoed a similar observation from former Fox contributor Newt Gingrich.

    Fox also attacked Warren over a comment she made during a campaign stop in August 2011 that “[t]here is nobody in this country who got rich on his own.” But Warren was merely making the unremarkable observation that the private sector success of the wealthy is driven by government investments funded by the public — an observation Fox itself has made.
    Fox Devotes At Least 17 Segments And Over 43 Minutes To Smearing Warren

    Fox began their attacks on Warren on July 31, following the announcement that she will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention.

    Among the attacks over Warren’s proposal to spend more on infrastructure projects like roads and bridges was Fox Business host Stuart Varney calling Warren a “collectivist” and “anti-private enterprise.” Among the attacks over Warren’s unremarkable observation on private sector success was Fox’s Sean Hannity calling Warren and Obama — who made similar remarks that were distorted by Fox — “clueless.”

    Fox’s Sarah Palin, commenting on Warren speaking at the convention, said that Warren has “almost confessed to her Marxist views.”

    Media Matters monitored Fox’s coverage of Warren on July 31, August 1, and August 2 — the three days following the announcement that she would be speaking at the Democratic National Convention — and found that Fox News devoted at least 17 segments, including teases, and over 43 minutes to attacking Warren over her comments.

    Media Matters – they watch FOX so you don’t have to.

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