My favorite part of Team O’s obsession with Trump and Birtherism is the Strange New Respect the left has for McCain for having eschewed most attacks on Obama’s background. (His campaign did go after Obama for his “friendship” with Bill Ayers.) As I remember it, the left was only too eager to smear Maverick as a racist on the barest pretense, right down to the use of stock footage of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton in the famous “Celebrity” ad. And it wasn’t just rank and file liberals, either. Remember this moment of glory from July 30, 2008?

Obama said that “John McCain and the Republicans, they don’t have any new ideas, that’s why they’re spending all their time talking about me. I mean, you haven’t heard a positive thing out of that campaign in … in a month. All they do is try to run me down and you know, you know this in your own life. If somebody doesn’t have anything nice to say about anybody, that means they’ve got some problems of their own. So they know they’ve got no new ideas, they know they’re dredging up all the stale old stuff they’ve been peddling for the last eight, 10 years.

“But, since they don’t have any new ideas the only strategy they’ve got in this election is to try to scare you about me. They’re going to try to say that I’m a risky guy, they’re going to try to say, ‘Well, you know, he’s got a funny name and he doesn’t look like all the presidents on the dollar bills and the five dollar bills and, and they’re going to send out nasty emails.

“And, you know, the latest one they’ve got me in an ad with Paris Hilton,” Obama said, referring to a McCain campaign ad launched today. “You know, never met the woman. But, but, you know, what they’re gonna try to argue is that somehow I’m too risky.”

There’s a lot of racist xenophobic crap out there. But not only has McCain not peddled any of it, he’s condemned it.

That’s Jake Tapper writing at the time, aghast at Obama’s willingness to smear his opponent despite McCain’s best efforts to keep the campaign clean. Four years later, here we are, with Maverick duly restored to nobility by O’s campaign — and Soledad O’Brien, as you’ll see — so that they can use him as a cheap bludgeon against Romney and Trump. McCain tried to play nice and ate a shinola sandwich anyway; since Romney’s bound to be fed the same thing no matter what he does, go figure that he might decide not to worry overly much about the propriety of his surrogates. Does Barack Obama worry about the fact that one of his top bundlers is Jon Corzine? If The One wants to play in a pool of sleaze, let’s play.

Speaking of which, it’s far more offensive to me that the media refuses to cover some of O’s glaring political liabilities than that they insist on covering silly Romney-related sideshows like Trump. Has there been any sustained effort yet by any major news outlet to investigate that $150,000 hush-money offer that Jeremiah Wright claims he received from Obama buddy Eric Whitaker in 2008? Allegations of a big-money bribe made on a sitting president’s behalf used to be news in this country. Any takers?