Asked if his emphasis on livable communities was, as Will's column argued, a veiled effort to "make driving more torturous" and "coerce people out of their cars," LaHood was unbowed.
"It is a way to coerce people out of their cars," he said, observing that few people enjoy spending an hour behind the wheel to travel to work or run an errand. While every community cannot be redesigned to coax more residents onto transit or bikes, he added, the encouragement of those opportunities is important.
"The only person I've heard object to this is George Will," LaHood said. Pressed again to answer conservative critics who see the hand of Big Government in his agenda, the former Republican congressman quipped: "About everything we do around here is government intrusion in people's lives."
Wow. Just wow.