Down the GOP Rabbit Hole

The Republican race is becoming ‘curiouser and curiouser’ in all the worst ways.

Don’t follow the white rabbit.

By Peter FennJan. 7, 2016, at 5:15 p.m.+ More–USNews & World Report

I too often feel as if I have fallen down the rabbit hole in “Alice in Wonderland” when I view the dysfunction that is the Republican primary contest. Maybe you remember the quote from Lewis Carroll’s wonderful book:

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here, I’m mad. You’re mad.”

“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.

“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

Well, those of us political junkies, and even those who can’t avoid the daily news bursts, are fast wondering if we are embroiled in the Alice in Wonderland of politics.

[SEE: Editorial Cartoons on the 2016 Presidential Elections]

Ted Cruz reads “Green Eggs and Ham” on the Senate floor – anything to shut down the government. Donald Trump says very little that is actually true and doubles down when questioned. (He’s been awarded PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year”; 60 of his 79 statements were labeled mostly false, false or pants on fire.)

The other candidates are trying desperately to keep up with the self-proclaimed outsiders Trump and Cruz, bashing immigrants, eviscerating President Barack Obama for “taking away our guns,” each trying to out-macho the other: Ben Carson says a Muslim shouldn’t be president, contrary to our Constitution; Marco Rubio helps write immigration reform legislation and then rejects it; Chris Christie called opponents of an assault weapons ban “dangerous”, “crazy” and “radical” in 1995, yet he now totally agrees with them; Carly Fiorina won’t even meet with President Vladimir Putin.

The madder you are, the louder your voice, the more outrageous your statements, the greater the likelihood that your poll numbers will rise in the Republican primaries.

[VIEW: 2015: The Year in Cartoons]

Trump does take the cake: attacking John McCain for being a war hero, calling to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., suggesting building a fence and making Mexico pay for it, wanting to carpet bomb our enemies and target their families. Even hard-core conservatives wonder whether he has become the candidate most likely to tear up our Constitution, violate international law and shred the rules of the Geneva Conventions.

Maybe Trump deserves the title Mad Hatter in this race, but most of the others aren’t far behind. The Republican Party has truly become the Mad Tea Party – maybe a more appropriate description than any reference to the Boston Tea Party.

And throughout it all, this race is becoming, as in Alice in Wonderland, “Curiouser and curiouser!” Like Alice, maybe we could all wake up from this dream?