At such a pivotal moment for the United States, Kessler and other "independent fact-checkers" seem most nervous that they will end up on the wrong side of the new order. Even as Romney's campaign disses the very idea of "fact-checking," Kessler and his cohorts scramble to "balance" their occasional recognition that Romney's campaign is lying wholesale with a determination to find a similar number of retail exaggerations by the Democrats.
So, when the Obama campaign dared to call Romney a "corporate raider," Kessler rushed in tossing around "Pinocchios," applying a narrow definition of what a raider is and missing the larger point -- that just because Bain Capital has used the more polite technique of bribing the old management doesn't change the consequence of the plundering, at least not for the rank-and-file workers and their towns.
As Taibbi noted...
"The new owners of American industry are the polar opposites of the Milton Hersheys and Andrew Carnegies who built this country, commercial titans who longed to leave visible legacies of their accomplishments, erecting hospitals and schools and libraries, sometimes leaving behind thriving towns that bore their names."
By contrast, Taibbi wrote, Romney...
"...is a perfect representative of one side of the ominous cultural divide that will define the next generation, not just here in America but all over the world. Forget about the Southern strategy, blue versus red, swing states and swing voters -- all of those political cliches are quaint relics of a less threatening era that is now part of our past, or soon will be. The next conflict defining us all is much more unnerving.
"That conflict will be between people who live somewhere, and people who live nowhere. It will be between people who consider themselves citizens of actual countries, to which they have patriotic allegiance, and people to whom nations are meaningless, who live in a stateless global archipelago of privilege -- a collection of private schools, tax havens and gated residential communities with little or no connection to the outside world. Mitt Romney isn't blue or red. He's an archipelago man. ...- Advertisement -
"Perhaps that change is coming whether we like it or not. Perhaps Mitt Romney is the best man to manage the transition. But it seems a little early to vote for that kind of wholesale surrender."
Among the first to run up the white flag, however, are "independent fact-checkers" like the Post's Kessler.