Opinion | The Power of Lies in an Age of Political Fiction

I’ll save prose from other articles for next week.

First up: Maureen Dowd’s column on the Supreme Court. Many of you absolutely loved it, but you cited different highlights, including this one: “Samuel Alito’s antediluvian draft opinion is the Puritans’ greatest victory since they expelled Roger Williams from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.” At another point, Maureen wrote that it’s “outrageous that five unelected, unaccountable and relatively unknown political operatives masquerading as impartial jurists can so profoundly alter our lives.”

She also noted that Chief Justice John Roberts “has lost control of a lost-its-marbles majority,” adding: “To borrow an image from the great Mary McGrory, Roberts seems like a small man trying to walk a large dog. At this point, he can’t even see the end of the leash.” (Thanks to Ricca Slone of Chicago, Sarah Charlock of Newport News, Va., and Mark Weinberg of Wilmington, Del., among many others, for nominating Maureen’s sentences.)

Another newsletter-reader favorite from the past week was Joe Drape’s vivid account of Rich Strike’s against-all-odds win in the Kentucky Derby. (If you haven’t seen the aerial view of the thoroughbred’s late burst into the lead, here’s a tweet of the footage from NBC Sports that’s well worth watching.)

Joe described that burst, jockeyed by Sonny Leon, this way: “Leon started guiding his horse through the pack, zigzagging like someone late for work on a busy Manhattan sidewalk.” Joe also savored the sweetness of a triumph by a contender whose trappings and patronage were less gilded than those of his equine rivals: “Thoroughbred races have increasingly surrendered to the sheikhs and princes, the hedge fund wizards and industrialists, the fat cats who could plunder their vaults and pay whatever it took to secure a regally bred horse who, they hoped, could run a hole in the wind.” (Jeanie Camp, San Diego, and Pete Browne, Kansas City, Mo., among others)

Ticking off the surprising victories in Real Madrid’s magical soccer season, Rory Smith mentioned the “comeback against the glittering array of Instagram influencers arranged in the vague shape of a team by Paris St.-Germain.” (Charles Kelley, Alexandria, Va., and Sheila Bourke Tagliavia, Perugia, Italy, among others)

In that same article, Rory wrote that it’s not “too florid, too ethereal, to suggest that Real Madrid does not so much beat teams at soccer as overwhelm them by harnessing some elemental force.” He went on to add, “At times, it resembles a form of alchemy, the transformation of a succession of base metals — a smattering of garlanded veterans, a couple of raw hopefuls, a coach with an expressive eyebrow and an easy charm, a team with no recognizable, cogent plan beyond a pervasive sense of its own destiny — into something precious.” (Paul Oliver, Washington, D.C., and Eugene Hunt, North Andover, Mass.)

Finally, Jeff Maurer’s guest essay about what he perceives to be the Democratic Party’s “image problem” focused on Democrats’ vulnerability to certain negative criticism about student loan forgiveness.