Lewis Carroll created a surreal world where fantastic, supernatural things were possible – things that escaped the bounds of reason. I was thinking about the post I put up yesterday about how the political elite are upset that we are too ignorant to understand their brilliance in working on a “problem” that 96% of Americans do not believe is a problem – that being not enough restrictions on guns.
Then this morning I get this from Jim Geraghty via his Morning Jolt email:
Mr. President, we’ve got real problems to worry about, much bigger than whether a feel-good, largely symbolic measure passes the Senate and you get a political win. Somebody blew up Boston’s happiest day of the year, maimed dozens, and tore apart families, and we don’t know (as of this writing) if it’s one guy or a group or whether he’s got more efforts planned or whether he’ll inspire copycats.
It strikes me that Washington has devolved into a world a lot like the surreal world of Alice. This a world where once down the rabbit hole, normally sensible people undergo metamorphosis into some variant of the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp version of the Mad Hatter or the March Hare, creating realities as they go to suit what they want them to be instead of what they are. They sure don’t manage their own affairs the way they try to manage the affairs of the public. I say that they are sensible people – because even the most “progressive” do-gooders of this D.C. tea party are well educated and well-to-do and don’t manage their own affairs the way they try to manage the affairs of the public. If they did, they would be penniless and in hock up to their eyeballs just like our country is. They even carefully exempt themselves from the rules and laws they vest upon the rest of us to protect their own from the ravages of their policies.
And all the while, Obama sits in a tree, taking it all in like the Cheshire Cat – and remaining invisible during the chaos, appearing only to brandish a toothy smile or to angrily pass judgement on the actions of others who disagree with him.
At least Alice had the good sense to declare the Hatter’s party to be the stupidest tea party ever and leave. Obama’s re-election proves that the American public is somewhat duller than our young heroine.
Carroll created a world at the end of the rabbit hole as a world of irrationality, absurdity, relativism and complete fantasy as a child’s diversion from the reality of the mid-1800’s. His work is filled with things that were recognized then as nonsensical impossibilities – but reading Carroll today sounds like reading the Democrat Party platform or watching a “gun safety” debate on C-SPAN:
“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that.
The White Queen: “The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday — but never jam to-day.”
“I don’t understand you,” said Alice. “It’s dreadfully confusing!”
“That’s the effect of living backwards,” the Queen said kindly: “it always makes one a little giddy at first.”
“My name is Alice, but — “
“It’s a stupid name enough!” Humpty Dumpty interrupted impatiently. “What does it mean?”
“Must a name mean something?” Alice asked doubtfully.
“Of course it must,” Humpty Dumpty said with a short laugh: “my name means the shape I am — and a good handsome shape it is, too. With a name like yours, you might be any shape, almost.”
“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.“
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master— that’s all.”
The sum total of our political discourse has reached the same level of lunacy as the conversation around the table at the Mad Hatter’s tea party.
“Mad Hatter: “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?”
“Have you guessed the riddle yet?” the Hatter said, turning to Alice again.
“No, I give it up,” Alice replied: “What’s the answer?”
“I haven’t the slightest idea,” said the Hatter”
Aye, there’s the rub – for as the Hatter was unable to answer a question of his own origination, neither are our politicians able to bring their own riddle to completion.
I’m beginning to think that our political class would feel right at home in Alice’s world below the ground.