If I were a conservative, I’d be extremely intolerant of the “vetting” project that the late Andrew Breitbart charged his successors to undertake, and that the wingnutosphere in general seems to be taking up with great enthusiasm. Of all the reasons one might cite to persuade swing voters to evict Barack Obama from the White House, there are quite a few more immediate and persuasive than anything you might find endlessly pouring over everything the president said when he was at Harvard or in Chicago.

Perhaps I should just be pleased these unpleasant people are wasting their time with this crap, but it is fascinating in a sick sort of way. Today’s big shocker is the discovery that in a 1990 newspaper interview, then-law-student Barack Obama said he wanted to be part of an effort to “reshape America in a way that is less mean-spirited and more generous.”

According to The Gateway Pundit, a prominent right-wing blog, this proves Obama just flat out hates America, always has, always will.

Sometimes you just have to wonder if people give even five minutes thought to the attack lines they pursue. Who else in our society–you know, other than racialist Marxists pursing Saul Alinsky’s strategy for destroying the country–is prone to encouraging Americans to be less mean-spirited and more generous? Could it be every single official and unofficial representative of the Judeo-Christian religious tradition–the tradition that these same conservatives claim Barack Obama is waging a war to the death to suppress?

Lord have mercy, next thing you know, “the vetting” will produce evidence that Barack Obama once said he wanted to make America a “shining city on a hill.” What true patriotic citizen could abide a president who ever said that?

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.