- Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images
Republicans who are surprised and vexed by Donald Trump’s racist attacks on US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel – the federal judge who is allegedly too Mexican to preside over Trump’s fraud trial, despite being born in Indiana – apparently were not paying attention during the years Trump spent spreading rumors that President Barack Obama had forged his birth certificate.
The attacks are fundamentally the same: In each case, Trump is attacking an American-born official for being insufficiently American on the grounds of his excessively brown heritage.
I think the instinct of some Republican politicians is that appeals to racism can only be cynical ploys to win over Republican primary voters; if you’re making a cynical ploy, you stop doing it when it ceases to be useful.
But what if Trump just straight up believes this stuff? Why would he stop saying it just because he is their nominee for president?