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The presumptive Republican nominee has built a career on bluster, branding and relentless self-promotion. These are useful traits for a vainglorious mogul. For a president of the United States, they could be catastrophic.

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The certificate and its release prove two things most people should already know: Obama is an American. And, as Tavis Smiley put it, the 2012 presidential race is shaping up to be “the ugliest, the nastiest, the most divisive, and the most racist in the history of this Republic." As with any post-racial attack—appealing to racists but also appealing to deniability—Trump’s latest complaint feeds directly into our nation’s history of racism and racist entitlement.

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