You Didn’t Build That

One might think that a fact checker for a major newspaper organization would apply a certain level of objectivity to his work, but evidently not, if you’re Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post. In a recent column, Kessler reviews the Romney ad that criticized Obama’s infamous “You didn’t build that” speech, concluding that the ad took Obama’s comments out of context to make it appear that Obama was attacking individual initiative when, according to Kessler, he wasn’t.

As seen in the first part of the statement quoted by Kessler, Obama mocked successful Americans who think they are “just so smart” and “worked harder than everybody else,” implying that they really aren’t smart and really don’t work harder. Although Romney’s ad did not include these statements, Obama clearly did attack individual initiative and success and the ad was hardly deceptive. Kessler’s conclusion seems more based on a bias rather than the facts.

Not content with his biased “fact checking,” Kessler then devotes half of the column in an attempt to rehabilitate Obama. Oddly enough, he thinks to do this by showing that Obama’s comments were not original, but had essentially been made previously by Elizabeth Warren and even Franklin Roosevelt. Evidently, Kessler believes that repetition somehow makes an attack not an attack.

Kessler concludes by saying that the real debate is whether the wealthy should pay more in taxes. Of course, no one really disputes that the wealthy should pay more in taxes, but liberals seem to believe that simply by saying the wealthy should pay more automatically justifies progressive tax rates rather than a flat rate. In fact, there is nothing automatic about it.

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