Disappointing the Cicadas

Sometimes a little perspective is helpful, and David Frum supplied some this morning with a tweet playing off the imminent reappearance of the Brood II Cicadas (which happens every 17 years) on the East Coast:

When the cicadas went underground, they left a thriving economy. They’ll be so disappointed in us when they re-emerge.

Probably so. In 1996 the Clinton Boom was gaining real momentum. Not only that, but Iraq was only a vengeful glimmer in George W. Bush’s eye; we had never heard of Monica Lewinsky; and Newt Gingrich was well on his way to becoming a national pariah and laughingstock whom no one would ever take seriously again.

Yeah, the cicadas have a lot of catching up to do. For East Coast birds, dogs and cats, though, it’ll soon be time to chow down on one of nature’s strangest smorgasboards.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.