Mitt Romney doesn't seem to set great store by the truth: Lately, he's been ascribing views to President Obama that are pure fabrication, notes Paul Krugman in the New York Times. Just this week, the former governor implied that Obama sought a society in which "everyone receives the same or similar rewards, regardless of education, effort, and willingness to take risk." Later, he said Obama would "put free enterprise on trial." Actually, Obama hasn't suggested anything of the kind. "Welcome to post-truth politics," writes Krugman.
Romney believes he can pull off such whoppers in part because he already has. "He has based pretty much his whole campaign around a strategy of attacking Mr. Obama for doing things that the president hasn’t done and believing things he doesn’t believe." Yet were Obama to make equally fraudulent claims about Romney—suggesting, perhaps, that the ex-governor "wants to reduce middle-class Americans to serfs"—his comments would likely be "universally condemned," and rightly so. Trouble is, in an effort to be fair, the media tries to balance Republican lies with "a comparable accusation against a Democrat—even if what the Democrat said was actually true or, at worst, a minor misstatement," Krugman writes. "The end result will be no real penalty for running an utterly fraudulent campaign."