CNN contributor Erick Erickson and other conservative media are claiming that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood praised Chinese authoritarianism because he said that the Chinese have been successful in building infrastructure. But these outlets cropped LaHood's comments to exclude his explicit praise of U.S. democracy.
In an interview with Foreign Policy Magazine, LaHood said that the "Chinese are more successful" at building infrastructure "because in their country, only three people make the decision. In our country, 3,000 people do, 3 million."
Erickson used those remarks to claim in a post at RedState that LaHood "has come out in favor of the Chicoms over Americans," and that the Obama administration is "rooting against us and for a murderous regime of despots." But Erickson ignored that LaHood added that the U.S. has "the best system of government anywhere on the planet," as Foreign Policy Magazine reported:
LaHood said that despite this, democracy is still preferable. "We have the best system of government anywhere on the planet. It is the best. Because the people have their say," he said.
Erickson wasn't alone in distorting LaHood's remarks: Ed Morrissey at HotAir claimed that LaHood sang the "praises of Chinese authoritarianism" and Human Events claimed that LaHood "admir[es] solution based Chinese authoritarianism." Both these outlets also cut out LaHood's endorsement of democracy.
Were these conservatives as outraged when President George W. Bush joked "If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator"?