I feel disoriented. Granted, they’re going to hit him early and often because they think he’s vulnerable in the general election, but even so — it’s strange to see liberals hammering a Paul. Not that they’re fans of his pop, exactly, but he’s dovish enough on foreign policy to have earned a certain grudging respect from the left, which I figured would lead them to use Queensberry rules in going after his son. That was … naive. Believe it or not, this idiocy isn’t the dumbest attack of the day. That honor belongs to water-carrier Josh Marshall, who’s pretty sure that Paul’s a “very unlikeable” guy and is expecting big things from that narrative in the days ahead.

But back to the narrative du jour. This is, of course, a wink-wink insinuation that Paul’s a racist — why else would a Republican want to be at a country club? — and Raw Story, at least, is making no bones about it. Quote:

According to the club’s own website, “Bowling Green Country Club is one of Kentucky’s oldest and most respected private clubs. Our active and vibrant membership has helped establish a heritage and tradition that the club has maintained since its inception in 1913. Bowling Green Country Club is located in the heart of the state, affording our club a relaxed, warm environment that embraces the uniqueness of the local culture.”

It appears that the club’s devotion to maintaining its “history and tradition” included a dogged adherence to segregation as late as the 1960’s. According to a history of Western Kentucky University, “In 1967 the golf team, which had no practice course, was invited to use the facilities of the Bowling Green Country Club. Then it was discovered that the team might have a black member. The Country Club was not integrated, and the invitation came under question.” The university team wound up going elsewhere for its practices.

So there you go. Not only is Mr. Tea Party a secret elitist who digs country clubs, but he patronizes ones that were racially restrictive … 40 years ago. The punchline? When asked about this on ABC this morning, Paul obviously sensed the racial undertone of the insinuation and brought up Tiger Woods as evidence that golf and country clubs are no longer reserved for WASP elites. (He could have, and should have, mentioned Obama’s golf habit too.) To which Vanity Fair responds, aha — mentioning Tiger only proves that Paul’s got race on his mind.

This is the way this election is going to go, isn’t it? The tea party success story must be crushed, and any weapon to hand is good enough. It pains me to think that I’m going to have to devote precious work hours to defending one of the Pauls, but if the attacks remain this stupid, there’s simply no choice. David Freddoso thinks he’s going to win because the Dems nominated their own fringe-dweller; I think Freddoso’s overly optimistic, just because there seems to be an awful lot of bad blood between the Paulnuts and Trey Grayson’s supporters, who may be inclined to stay home. Prognostications are welcome in the comments. Exit quotation from Wonkette(!): “How is this more elitist than holding it at a Four Seasons Grand Ballroom, like every other major candidate does?”