Quick Takes

* Last week Jonathan Chait wrote that the rise of Donald Trump surprised us because we underestimated how many Republican voters are idiots. Gene Demby penned a thought-provoking response with the title: It’s Gotten A Lot Harder To Act Like Whiteness Doesn’t Shape Our Politics.

It’s telling that Chait finds it easier to imagine that huge swaths of Republican primary voters are childlike and naive, rather than folks who quite rationally dig Trump’s direct appeals to their interests — their racial interests. Among Trump’s most notorious policy proposals is a moratorium on Muslims entering the country. He has called Mexican immigrants “rapists.” Maybe we should concede that these declarations are not incidental to his appeal among his supporters, but central to them. Calling them “idiots” posits that they’ve been duped, when perhaps Trump is saying precisely what they want to hear.

* In case you’ve been tempted to underestimate those racial interests, here is a reminder of what is going on 60 years after Brown vs Board of Education.

The Cleveland School District has been ordered by a federal court to consolidate its majority black secondary schools with historical white schools, ending a five-decade legal battle to desegregate schools in the 12,000-population city in north Mississippi.

“Six decades after the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education declared that ‘separate but equal has no place’ in public schools, this decision serves as a reminder to districts that delaying desegregation obligations is both unacceptable and unconstitutional,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement. “This victory creates new opportunities for the children of Cleveland to learn, play and thrive together. The court’s ruling will result in the immediate and effective desegregation of the district’s middle school and high school program for the first time in the district’s more than century-long history.”

* Shane Goldbacher busts up a Trump myth.

Donald Trump likes to say he has created a political movement that has drawn “millions and millions” of new voters into the Republican Party. “It’s the biggest thing happening in politics,” Trump has said. “All over the world, they’re talking about it,” he’s bragged.

But a Politico analysis of the early 2016 voting data show that, so far, it’s just not true.

While Trump’s insurgent candidacy has spurred record-setting Republican primary turnout in state after state, the early statistics show that the vast majority of those voters aren’t actually new to voting or to the Republican Party, but rather they are reliable past voters in general elections. They are only casting ballots in a Republican primary for the first time.

* Paul Krugman writes that Republicans had to fight Donald Trump with their hands tied behind their backs – something Clinton won’t have to deal with.

First, he’s running a campaign fundamentally based on racism. But Republicans couldn’t call him on that, because more or less veiled appeals to racial resentment have been key to their party’s success for decades. Clinton, on the other hand, won the nomination thanks to overwhelming nonwhite support, and will have no trouble hitting hard on this issue.

Second, Trump is proposing wildly irresponsible policies that benefit the rich. But so were all the other Republicans, so they couldn’t attack him for that. Clinton can.

Third, Trump’s personal record as a businessman is both antisocial and just plain dubious. Republicans, with their cult of the entrepreneur, couldn’t say anything about that. Again, Clinton can.

* The Sanders Campaign has issued a statement on Nevada. One can only hope that in light of some of the abuse we’ve seen against state party officials, they would demand this of their own supporters as well.

If the Democratic Party is to be successful in November, it is imperative that all state parties treat our campaign supporters with fairness and the respect that they have earned.

* Finally, does Donald Trump really speak for you?

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.