Was this just a handy argument (i.e., Marcotte’s “point scoring”)? Sure, but that’s politics for you. You pick the argument that has the most oomph, not the one that’s technically what you feel most strongly about. Democrats made similar overreach arguments about George Bush’s signing orders.In this case, it’s not that Trump’s argument about DACA representing presidential overreach must be about something other than racism. Who knows what’s in his heart? But there are other explanations. The most likely one, by a mile, is that Trump is an idiot and he’s just parroting something he was told by someone else.As for his obsession with Obama, that’s most likely because Obama is his predecessor.

Trump’s personality demands that he attack his enemies relentlessly in order to build up his own ego, and in this case it means dismantling Obama’s legacy. Obama’s blackness may or may not play a role in that, but what clearly does play a role is that Obama’s legacy is the only one open to him.I think it’s unwise to tiptoe around racism, but I also think it’s unwise to make it the go-to explanation for everything. Trump has plenty of reasons to disparage Obama. If I had to guess, I’d say the main one is Trump’s obvious awareness that Obama was a far better president than he’ll ever be. Likewise, Republicans have plenty of reasons to dislike DACA.

Race underlies some of this, but the fact that Obama is both a liberal and a Democrat—and that DACA reduces their leverage in any future debate over immigration reform—plays a much larger role.Race is a powerful political weapon. It should be used judiciously.Politics has gotten to the point that I literally don’t understand it anymore. This is from the Washington Post this morning:The House bill does not include language to raise the debt ceiling ahead of a late-September deadline, a relief to conservatives who oppose linking the two issues. But that doesn’t mean the lower chamber will ultimately avoid such a vote: Senate Republican leaders said they plan to attach a debt-ceiling hike to Harvey aid despite conservative opposition.