Krugman takes on the PolitiFact kerfluffle (I know, misspelled, but the word "fluff" needs to be in there somewhere).
And he generalizes the point rather well. After inventing an Obama statement as outrageous as Romney's latest slander, he concludes (emphasis added):
Oh, Mr. Romney will probably be called on some falsehoods. But, if past experience is any guide, most of the news media will feel as though their reporting must be “balanced,” which means that every time they point out that a Republican lied they have to match it with a comparable accusation against a Democrat — even if what the Democrat said was actually true or, at worst, a minor misstatement. ...Something we've known since at least Al Gore in 2000, but it's nice to see it codified.
So here’s my forecast for next year: If Mr. Romney is in fact the Republican presidential nominee, he will make wildly false claims about Mr. Obama and, occasionally, get some flack for doing so. But news organizations will compensate by treating it as a comparable offense when, say, the president misstates the income share of the top 1 percent by a percentage point or two.
The end result will be no real penalty for running an utterly fraudulent campaign. As I said, welcome to post-truth politics.
Call it the PolitiFact Fact: "Welcome to post-truth politics."
BONUS: Here's part of what Romney actually said:
In an entitlement society, everyone receives the same or similar rewards, regardless of education, effort, and willingness to take risk. That which is earned by some is redistributed to the others.I credit his writers. If that doesn't encapsulate perfectly the mindset of every Republican voter I've met (save one), I don't know what does.
Call it the Song of the Undeserving: Using the Republican party to club someone you hate.
Scratch every Republican voter I know (save one), and you'll find someone at war with the "takers," however defined. A lesbian couple I know voted McCain because one of them wanted to get even with a predatory cousin (!). It never fails.
(About that "save one" — he's a Republican only culturally, but his mind rules his emotions. He's turning into a progressive on the merits, fast; he just needed to be exposed to them. Yes, Virginia, there really is hope for the world.)