Looking to comprehend the rise of the Tea Party? Consult your local marine biologist, advises National Journal's Jonathan Rauch
. He'll tell you that the Tea Party, like the delicious and resilient starfish, survives precisely because it has a non-central brain. Rauch argues that by remaining a loosely aligned collection of local activists, the Tea Party has preserved the starfish's unique structure: the arms are nominally independent "but can persuade each other to move." Cut off any one arm and "the starfish will grow a new arm and the arm will grow a new starfish."