Jonathan Chait

The WSJ Edit Page Uses Predator Satiation

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Cicadas burrow underground and then emerge at all together in 13- or 17-year cycles in massive waves. The strategy is known as "predator satiation." The cicadas are tasty meals for birds, they move very slowly, and they can't fight, but by emerging all at once there are simply so many of them they can't be eaten simultaneously.

I thought of that when I glanced at today's Wall Street Journal editorial page. It's like the Journal, which is itself my favorite target, held a convention of my favorite targets. You have Karl Rove, in a characteristic act of displaced self-hatred, lambasting President Obama for being divisive and political. You have a Journal editorial making the same point. You have Donald Luskin, last seen calling me a "lying scumbag," defending Ayn Rand against her unnamed critics. You have inequality-denier Alan Reynolds arguing that returning the top tax rate to Clinton-era levels will not increase tax revenues. And then, to throw me for a weird loop, you have classic blog favorite Peter Wehner making a worthy condemnation of the Birthers.

I can't consume all of them. It's even creating such sensory overload I feel to paralyze to consume any of them. They may all end up just flitting around in the air, reproducing and molting their exoskeletons.

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