Quick Takes

* I have to admit that this is the kind of thing that gets my blood boiling:

In the oral arguments Wednesday for a Supreme Court affirmative action case, Justice Antonin Scalia—a well known critic of affirmative action—suggested that the policy was hurting minority students by sending them to schools too academically challenging for them.

Referencing an unidentified amicus brief, Scalia said that there were people who would contend “that it does not benefit African-Americans” who don’t do well in the schools that accept them under affirmative action, and that those students would be better off in the less advanced schools that they would have otherwise gone to.

You’d think that Chief Justice Roberts would have a hard time maintaining his assertion that racism is over in this country when his pal Justice Scalia is engaging in a racist argument from his position on the Supreme Court – wouldn’t you?

* Brian Beutler captured this whole Trump phenomenon really well in his article titled: Trump Proves that Liberals Have Been Right All Along.

On the left, the view that Republicans allowed the conservative grassroots to turn their party into a political action committee for white ressentiment has evolved over the years from an argument into a creed. Since at least 2012, liberals have been warning (at times mockingly, but never disingenuously) that by indulging and at times fanning the hostilities and procedural extremism of this part of their coalition, Republicans were letting expediency get the better of them.

When large swaths of the conservative movement resisted the notion that the GOP needed to widen its appeal to minorities, and could win by appealing to a broader base of whites, it was liberals who warned that these voters would drag the party into a racial abyss.

Trump is the fulfillment of that prophecy.

* Nate Silver included something in a tweet yesterday that made me do a double-take. He suggested that there are more Bernie Sanders supporters than Donald Trump supporters. Silver didn’t mention any back-up for that assertion, but if you look at the national poll aggregator at Real Clear Politics you’ll see that Trump is currently averaging 29.3% of the Republican vote and Sanders is at 30.5% of the Democratic vote. It’s true that Trump is leading the field of Republican candidates, but if you took an objective view of the news coverage lately you’d think that his supporters made up the vast majority of people in the country right now. They don’t!

* At Republic 3.0, Sanford Levinson explains how modern – foreign – readers might take the wrong lessons from a reading of the Federalist Papers.

* Finally, as the eyes of the world are on Paris, my recommendation for the best long(er) read of the day comes from Alexander Zaitchik who traveled to the northern area of Guatemala and reports on how the Maya put their lives on the line to protect an irreplaceable rainforest.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.