The popular sense of the word "schizophrenia" is that it denotes a condition of split identity. Clinically, it is regarded with more complexity, as "a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation."
Either definition is a fairly apt description of the current political climate in Washington, D.C. How else can one explain the follow-up last week to seemingly heartfelt proclamations of fraternity and comity from Republican and Democratic leaders in the wake of a madman's ambush of GOP members practicing for an annual charity baseball game? Even as GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Minority Leader Charles Schumer stood side-by-side before the resultant game in their short sleeves pledging to maintain good relations and to drop the barriers to understanding, Schumer and other Democrats were begging in vain for a peek at the Obamacare replacement bill McConnell and a select group of other Republicans are writing in secret.
A week later, the Democrats still haven't been afforded the merest glimpse of a measure that McConnell intends to bring to the floor for a vote before an even more revered annual circumstance, the 4th of July Congressional recess.
How's that for comity and communication? Worsening the situation is the fact that, according to apparently reliable leaks from behind that curtain of secrecy, even President Trump, who is still desperately wanting to get something actually legislated during his tenure, has rebuked the would-be framers of the bill for fashioning something "mean" and has implored them to come up with something that has a "heart." Maybe something, we'd like to think, that does not strip 23 million Americans of their health insurance in order to provide the wealthiest one percent of the country's populace with $8 billion in tax cuts?
As for Trump himself, who — eyes glued to teleprompter — delivered his own eloquent appeal for unity on game night, he was back to sending out divisive tweets the very next morning, attacking figures in his own administration for daring to pursue their duty in connection with the Russia investigation that he obviously fears will implicate him.
And night after night on the cable news shows, anchors and reporters do battle with spinmeisters who are repeating the same old, same old — talking points that we've already heard too many times, and "logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead."
How does the rest of that song go — "White Rabbit"?
"When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go/
And you've just had some kind of mushroom, and your mind is moving low/ Go ask Alice, I think she'll know ..."
Better Alice than Sean Spicer or Sarah Huckabee Sanders. We've been paying attention long enough to know that "the white knight is talking backwards, and the red queen's off with her head."
So Alice will have to do, we suppose. What network does she work for?