6 min

You’re reading the Today’s Opinions newsletter. Sign up to get it in your inbox.

In today’s edition:

When did ‘tolerance’ become this?

Amanda Katz is a senior assignment editor here at Post Opinions — and my (fabulous!) newsletter editor, too. To my knowledge and hers, she is not a lawyer.

So when she first learned the Supreme Court ruled that a web designer can refuse to make wedding sites for same-sex couples, Amanda didn’t think of standing or injury or hypos. She thought of her lesbian friends who married in 2014, before it was legal nationwide — and after being turned away by their first two choices of venue.

Is the court catapulting us back to that? And calling it “tolerance”? The reasoning seemed baffling.

After Amanda consulted with a lawyer on, well, standing and injury and all those vexing hypotheticals, the reasoning was still baffling. Her column walks us through all the decision’s flaws, but at the end of the day, she writes, so many of us (with or without JDs) “are left trying to make sense of arguments that appear to cut against common sense and common good.”

Contributing columnist Brian Broome also thought of a wedding when he got news of the decision; in fact, it was the one he would be attending later in the day the opinion came down.

These nuptials were between a cisgender man and a cisgender woman, Broome writes, a.k.a. “the kind of wedding that conservatives believe is the only kind of wedding that counts.” But! The bride is bisexual, and it’s only by a stroke of fate that she didn’t fall for a woman and end up facing a very different wedding-planning experience.

Brian’s column is a cri de coeur over the “conservative dreamland” the court has become — one that centers the wants of traditionalists who think any hint of progress for folks whose lives might be harder than theirs is a direct personal attack.

Or, as humor columnist Alexandra Petri wryly put it in her summation of the court’s whole end-of-term rollback bonanza: “I am sick and tired of people who have had adversity and obstacles handed out to them liberally since birth getting to be treated differently than those of us who haven’t. Do you know how hard some people have to work to encounter a single obstacle?”

Chaser: Columnist Catherine Rampell says it’s not convenient to point this out, but President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan the court struck down would have been a giveaway to high-income (or soon-to-be-high-income) households.

Happy(?) Fourth of July!

Maybe instead of letting ourselves be pyrotechnically wowed without a second thought this Fourth of July, columnist Jennifer Rubin writes, we use the holiday to rededicate ourselves to self-governance and “robust and authentic democracy.”

Jen doesn’t consider the hyperactive Supreme Court to be in line with that spirit of 1776. So does anybody have any crates of tea? Or how about plans for “term limits, jurisdiction stripping, court expansion and ethics reform”?

But contributing columnist Ted Johnson recently argued that we still shouldn’t RSVP “no” to the nation’s big bash; it’s our duty to shape what that celebration looks like.

Already, Ted is thinking ahead to 2026’s Independence Day, which will be the 250th anniversary of the country’s founding, or “semiquincentennial” if you’re looking for a good hangman word. Ted writes that if the milestone “becomes a vehicle to pat ourselves on the back for being exceptional, we will have squandered it.”

Likewise, it shouldn’t be reduced to a show-and-tell of “all the things broken and flawed and hypocritical about our country,” either, he writes.

America is a complicated promise. America is a party worth showing up to, even if the birthday girl can be a bit difficult.

From columnist Paul Waldman’s analysis of Biden’s big chance to win over rural America — or at least disrupt Republicans’ vise, which could prove hugely consequential come election time.

Hooking up the most remote parts of the country to high-speed internet is the sort of government service that people can’t help but notice, as opposed to the vague promises to “promote development” that rural areas are usually treated to. And such a tangible benefit, Paul writes, makes it much harder for Republicans to sell their standard “dastardly Democrats” line.

He writes: “Democrats don’t have to win the argument over who’s more on the side of rural America. All they have to do is start the argument, which these kinds of projects could do.”

Chaser: The Editorial Board writes that rural broadband is a great step toward a non-divisive “Bidenomics” — but that the ideas shouldn’t stop there.

Less politics

How will you fire up your burgers tomorrow? On the grill, over a bed of red-hot mental gymnastics and “with a side dish of denial”?

That’s how columnist Bina Venkataraman writes that she and a bunch of other conscientious omnivores are consuming meat these days. Her latest piece is an examination of the morals around meat-eating in general (dicey at best) and the ethics of electing to eat some animals but not others (mostly nonsensical).

But the promising advances in lab-grown meat that she describes could be the juicy route out of this quandary — a way for the ethically minded to chow down without, as Bina self-deprecatingly writes, becoming “insufferable company.”

Smartest, fastest

It’s a goodbye. It’s a haiku. It’s… The Bye-Ku.

It’s our party, too

We can cry if we want to

Better luck next year


Have your own newsy haiku? Email it to me, along with any questions/comments/ambiguities. Have a great holiday, and see you Wednesday!