Isn’t it about time President Obama and his flacks in and outside of the media stop pretending there is a legitimate issue regarding Mitt Romney’s departure date from Bain?

The New York Times, no right-wing rag, reports:

Some of the filings reflect the complex nature of private equity funds: each Bain fund was run by a separate general partnership — one that included all of Bain’s executives — that in turn was legally controlled by Mr. Romney through his management entity.

“It’s a disconnect between the ownership interest and managerial functions,” said Harvey L. Pitt, who served as S.E.C. chairman under President George W. Bush. “When Bain takes positions in public companies, they’re required to show anyone who has an ownership interest that could be the effective equivalent of control. So Romney has to be shown on those filings. If they didn’t show them on those filings, they would have broken the law. But it has nothing to do with who’s actually running Bain Capital.”

Indeed, no evidence has yet emerged that Mr. Romney exercised his powers at Bain after February 1999 or directed the funds’ investments after he left, although his campaign has declined to say if he attended any meetings or had any other contact with Bain during the period. And financial disclosures filed with the Massachusetts ethics commission show that he drew at least $100,000 in 2001 from Bain Capital Inc. — effectively his own till — as a “former executive” and from other Bain entities as a passive general partner.

It was the Times-owned Boston Globe, of course, that helped create the latest Bain feeding frenzy, so it is both appropriate and delicious that the mothership paper should blow the story out of the water.

The Obama team itself backpedaled a bit on Sunday regarding its accusation of illegality. It was, among all the accusations thrown at Romney, the most reprehensible. After all, President Obama is the chief executive (we tend to forget, I know, since he acts like a pouty pol so much of the time) with the full power of the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission behind him, so what’s next — a trumped-up investigation?

But of course, Obama and his hacks don’t actually believe the charge to be true. There is nothing this president won’t say or do — unilaterally amend laws, scrap the most successful social reform in generations (welfare reform), threaten “devastating” cuts in national security or threaten to take the country over the fiscal cliff — to get reelected. You have to think the 2008 Barack Obama would have been outraged.