Heading into New Hampshire, the race for the nomination of the once-genteel Republican Party seems to have entered a kind of Mad Max phase.
It is no surprise that Donald Trump is doing his best to create political mayhem. Trump was uncharacteristically subdued Monday night when he underperformed in Iowa, getting beaten by Ted Cruz and barely holding on to second place. But within 24 hours he was back in form, slashing and burning with abandon.
Trump seized on Ben Carson's complaint that Cruz's representatives at the Iowa caucuses had cheated, falsely leading Carson supporters to believe that their candidate was pulling out of the race; the message was that if they wanted their votes to count, they should cast them for Cruz. Trump thundered on Twitter that the "state of Iowa" should nullify the results and order a do-over -- never mind that it is the Iowa Republican Party, not the state government, that runs the caucuses.
"Oh that voter fraud, you know, these politicians are brutal," Trump said at a rally. "They are a bunch of dishonest cookies, I want to tell you."