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.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

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.