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Right-wing psychosexual obsessions, Nate Silver edition

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I don’t even . . .

Nate Silver is a man of very small stature, a thin and effeminate man with a soft-sounding voice that sounds almost exactly like the “Mr. New Castrati” voice used by Rush Limbaugh on his program. In fact, Silver could easily be the poster child for the New Castrati in both image and sound. Nate Silver, like most liberal and leftist celebrities and favorites, might be of average intelligence but is surely not the genius he’s made out to be. His political analyses are average at best and his projections, at least this year, are extremely biased in favor of the Democrats.

I actually saw the New Castrati open for the Pet Shop Boys back in 1986. (Shortly afterwards they discovered there was already a band in the West End called the New Castrati, so they became the New New Castrati, or NNC to their fans).

…[SL] If I had projections showing Mittens winning Oregon, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Minnesota (and 53 Senate Republicans!), I’d rather discuss my bizarre sexual obsessions than polling methodology too.

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  • With all of Silver’s shortcomings and biases, it’s amazing how he keeps turning out to be right.

    I don’t recall the extra chromosome crowd whining about his bias in 2010.

    • Uh, trying to insult folks by derisively comparing them to people with Down Syndrome isn’t cool. It’s not OK just because the targets are right-wing cranks, any more than when Coulter calls Obama a “retard.”

      • ajay

        I’m going to assume that Joe was talking about XYY – the extra Y chromosome that causes Klinefelter’s syndrome, supposedly the “supermasculine” karyotype.

  • Bobbo

    Best part is, the writer’s own go-to pollster is the always right, never effeminate Dick Morris.

    • Matthew B.

      Actually, his own go-to pollster is himself. He’s the guy behind UnSkewedPolls, though he doesn’t actually mention that while he pimps his own site.

      • Well, I guess that explains a lot. Eww, I felt pretty dirty after reading that column. What a dick.

        • At least we can comfort in the knowledge that this guy’s career will be over after the election. His reputation will be completely shot among the conservatives he’s been misleading throughout the election. When they realize that his analysis and commentary have been completely at odds with reality, and that he’s been feeding them bad information, they’ll abandon him en masse, and never take him seriously again.

          That’s how it works, right?

          • Davis X. o

            Tertullian was a Republican: Credo, quia absurdum

          • Obviously.

          • Your optimism is grossly misplaced.

          • RepubAnon

            It depends on whether the numbers are derived from polls, or how the voting machines will be programmed.

          • Of course that’s how it works, otherwise people like Dick Morris and Newt Gingrich would still be around.

          • efgoldman

            When they realize that his analysis and commentary have been completely at odds with reality…. they’ll abandon him en masse, and never take him seriously again.

            Because everyone knows that arithmetic has a liberal bias.

          • Wido Incognitus

            The importance of physical fitness (which I am not at all certain is to be found in Mr. Rush Limbaugh) is related to being able directly or indirectly to defend yourself, fairness, science, piety, peace and prosperity when (or if) their enemies have violent temper-tantrums at the collapse of their preferred politicians and predictions.

      • ploeg

        Fortunately, tbogg does mention it. Executive summary: it will be clear evidence of electoral fraud if Romney doesn’t win Michigan and Oregon.

      • He’s pretty good though. For example, projecting Romney to win Minnesota by five points is just the kind of delusional acid trip that predictions of this election have been sorely lacking.

  • Sly
  • My favorite bit:

    He claims to have been highly accurate in predicting the 2008 election results, and perhaps he was.

    But too hard to check!

    • joejoejoe

      President McCain hates Nate Silver.

    • Trolly McTroll

      Your sarcasm is insufficient against a brutish and older form of human existence. All that will suffice is emotional cruelty by showing your enemies to be foolish, lazy and dishonest.

    • Anonymous

      But Silver got Missouri and the Omaha district wrong. Sure, he got everything else right, but this is central to Uncle Fester look-alike’s point.

  • Rob in Buffalo

    Here is the manly man who wrote that article.

    • “I yield! I yield!”

    • I’m not usually down with criticizing someone based on their appearance, but when your description of your opponent begins with “small-statured” and “effeminate”, I guess you forfeit that courtesy.

      • But I hear he’s rated highly by the ladies at Match.com.

        • mch

          I think he assumes that, because he has blue eyes and fair (red?), hair he’s automatically manly. Nate Silver has brown hair and brown eyes, from what I can tell, but more important, is part Jewish (or something — I’m going by Wikipedia). Manliness automatically suspect.

          Problem, though. Nate Silver is from Michigan and I would assume grew up (and maybe still is) a Detroit fan. That makes him a conservative, right? (See Loomis.)

        • Malboa

          at least, once you account for the liberal bias inherent in those sorts of questionnaires.

    • Trolly McTroll

      It is worth noting here that he approvingly cited Rush Limbaugh’s caricature of Mr. New Castrati.
      Again, no sarcasm. Only cruelty. YOUR BULK IS RELATED TO A LACK OF PHYSICAL FITNESS AND SEXUAL PERFORMANCE (WHICH SEEMS TO BE A THEME OF YOURS) IN A SIMILAR WAY TO NATE SILVER’S SLENDERNESS!! EXPLAIN WHY YOU ARE SO INTERESTED IN HIERARCHY AS ITS OWN GOAL, IF NOT TO PROVIDE AN INFANTILE NEED TO ASSERYT YOUR OWN IMAGINED MAGNIFICENCE, OR SUFFER IN THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE OTHER THAN YOU IN THIS WORLD WHOSE EXPECTATIONS OF A FAIR, FEE, AND PEACEFUL WAY TO LIVE MAY BE AS REASONABLE AS YOURS!

      • Trolly McTroll

        Never mind. What I have been writing in this thread is nonsense. An important fact is that Nate Silver has predicted elections with some accuracy, due to an intelligence that is significantly more than average.

  • Janastas359

    Ezra Klein said a month or two ago that in this election, you can be honest, or you can be fair, but you can’t be both.

    This is how the right wing reacts when you switch from fair to honest.

    • In what way is honesty unfair?

      • McAllen

        Honesty has a well-known liberal bias.

      • Janastas359

        Sorry, I think it would better to say it as “Balanced or honest.”

        I think this is fair. I think the conservative media thinks this race is, at worst for them, a tossup, and any kind of result against them has to inherently be due to a lack of balance.

  • gmack

    Look, I don’t know what you all are going on about. Real Men know that sometimes 2 + 2 = 5.

    • Hogan

      For very large values of 2.

      • Liberal values of 2 are very small of stature, thin and effeminate.

        • efgoldman

          FTW

    • Anonymous

      “Collective sophism” sounds queer, though.

      • MAJeff

        I think that’s collective sapphism.

  • DrDick

    I have never seen people so insecure in their own masculinity as conservatives (which is what this kind of attack reveals). This column is a stupid person’s idea of what a smart response looks like. Have to say that even if he were right about Silver only being of average intelligence (the evidence strongly indicates well above that), it puts him light years ahead of most conservatives, who can only aspire to such intellectual heights.

    • Janastas359

      Look, I work with statistics for a living, and it requires a LOT of punching, wrestling, weight lifting, etc. Only the manliest of men can handle it.

      • The Dark Avenger

        Yes, the only way I passed with an A in statistics was the weight-lifting I did on the side to build myself up.

        • DrDick

          I had to run 5 miles every morning and do 100 situps and pushups just to be able to go to the class.

      • Barry

        “Look, I work with statistics for a living, and it requires a LOT of punching, wrestling, weight lifting, etc. Only the manliest of men can handle it.”

        That’s why I go straight for blades, when it comes to multivariate. Cut, don’t bash.

  • Joshua

    The right’s reaction to Silver basically stems from the fact that everyone they read is a partisan hack, so anyone the left reads has to be a partisan hack too.

    I keep telling people who complain about Silver is that his methodology is out there to be scrutinized. Not to mention that there is this thing called “an election” that pollsters are judged against. There’s a reason why Rasmussen is a joke.

    • timb

      a rich joke. Grifters are always welcome on the Right

    • Richard Hershberger

      “The right’s reaction to Silver basically stems from the fact that everyone they read is a partisan hack, so anyone the left reads has to be a partisan hack too.”

      This. Add to it the neocon belief that reality is something to be altered through sheer force of will, sort of like dealing with constipation by grunting really really hard. So even the ones smart enough to understand what he is doing are inclined to believe that he shows a liberal bias merely by stating the undesirable (to them) reality.

  • Bruce Baugh

    At this point I must toss in Ursula Vernon on the subject of “his mind raced”.

  • I’ll gladly volunteer to be Nate’s personal spokes-guy. I’m 6’2″ with a full beard, a deep bass, and a very good glower.

    • c u n d gulag

      I’ll help you.
      I’m also 6’2″, bald, with a goatee – I’m a former HS wrestler, and a bartender and bouncer in the East Village of NYC, and the Alphabet Jungle, back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, before it became the yuppie haven it is now.

      • Keaaukane

        When did LGM start running personal ads?

        • Rarely Posts

          Seriously, if any of you hot, liberal, older, masculine guys are gay (or even just bi-curious) and live in the DC area, hit me up. Single, GWM, 32 yo, professional, non-smoker in DC. Into liberal politics, hiking, and I have a dog. I desperately need a “spokes-guy” (if you know what I mean).

          Not joking. OK, sort of joking, unless you’re serious, in which case leave your e-mail.

          • connection

            It is pretty obvious that they are both gay(“beards” “wrestler”) and power bottoms. Hope it works out for all of you.

      • efgoldman

        You didn’t like bouncing yuppies?

    • a deep bass
      Fish or large fiddle?

      • Fish, of course.

        • mch

          As a straight woman (whatever that means — straight as habit and convention, I guess, since I think women on the whole are more comfortable with the idea of polymorphous perversity), let me say that wrestling, like boxing and running fast, are THE sports, par excellence.

  • Ed Marshall

    Does he know that Nate Silver is gay?

    • I’ve been reading Silver for years and didn’t know it until now (although I guess there’s no reason one would know it from his articles).

    • Rarely Posts

      Citation? After a quick google, I still have no idea what his sexual orientation is. Not that it matters, but I’m now curious.

    • Trolly McTroll

      I did not know that and am too lazy to find out if it is true. If it is, then the fact that the NYT hired a numerate gay man who can write about things other than other men’s personal lives balances out that they also hired Frank Bruni.

  • c u n d gulag

    When you can’t criticize a person on substance, you ridicule their appearance.

    My guess is, this clown couldn’t get laid with a fistful of pardons in a women’s prison.
    Or a men’s one, either.

    • Joshua

      Did you see that picture of him on the link provided? I’d say that is a safe bet.

      • DrDick

        He actually looks like the stereotype of a eunuch.

        • Ubu Imperator

          I misread “eunuch” as “couch,” but that’s not far off either.

          • DrDick

            Works either way.

    • Sherm

      “My guess is, this clown couldn’t get laid with a fistful of pardons in a women’s prison”

      I had never heard that line before. Gonna have to steal that one.

      • c u n d gulag

        Feel free.

        I’m sure I stole it from someone back in HS, in the early-mid 70’s.

        Or, now that I think about it, the old saying used to be “… a fistful of 50’s,” so I might have adjusted it.
        Back then, a fistful of 50’s was worth a sh*tload of money. Maybe even enough to buy someone a pardon. :-)

  • My suspicion is that Chambers knows that Silver’s appearance makes him feel really angry and outraged for some indefinable reason. Nate Silver shouldn’t go around making men like Dean Chambers feel like that, goddammit. It isn’t right!

  • Nate Silver poses the same threat to conventional political journalism that sabermetricians posed to baseball writers and that APBR metrics pose to basketball writers today. It’s not coincidence that he came out of the baseball analysis culture. Basically, once you have a framework like Silver’s (or like Sam Wang’s at the Princeton Election Consortium, take your pick), you don’t need the usual idiots. You come to realize that what they’re saying is largely irrelevant, and when not irrelevant, just wrong.

    Silver’s data-driven approach undermines all the usual conventional “wisdom” that our so-called political journalists are so fond of, because it puts the lie to their bullshit. And it makes it that much harder to spin the election as a horse race rather than as a long, drawn-out aggregation of votes and preferences. Since Republicans aren’t really big on facts in the first place, this obviously has the effect of pushing their stupid narratives out of the picture (not entirely, sadly, but you know, baby steps). But since you can’t ignore the polls altogether, because data (even fake data) lends your claims a certain imprimatur, they’ve decided to “copy” Silver (e.g. unskewedpolls) except without any of the rigor or understanding of what’s actually happening. It’s cargo cult politics in the original sense of the term.

    • DrDick

      Data (and by extension reality) are kryptonite to conservative ideologies.

      • And also to the sort of narrative-driven viewpoint that dominates journalism.

        • GFW

          +1

          As usual, XKCD has already been there.
          http://xkcd.com/904/

          • rea

            Miguel Cabrera = most valuable weighted random number generator (MVRNG).

    • Excellent insight, Mr.V.

      Nate Silver was the first person I saw discredit the concept of “momentum” during the 2008 Democratic primaries. Everyone else was talking about Obama “seizing the momentum” in March by winning a few states, and the Hillary “taking back the momentum” by winning a few states in a row, and then Obama “recapturing the momentum” and “making a comeback” when he won a few in a row.

      Silver pointed out, beforehand, that the election calendar featured primaries in a bunch of states that Obama was likely to win in March, then a few states in which the fundamentals favored Clinton, and then a few states in which they favored Obama. Nothing changed in the state of the race over that period. If the dates had all been scrambled, they each still would have won the same states.

      But the story of a roller-coaster contest made for much better television.

      • Scott Lemieux

        You don’t understand — Obama couldn’t CLOSE THE DEAL!

        • Uncle Ebeneezer

          It’s not his fault that he’s not clutch, he just lacks the intangibles.

          • Barack Obama is clearly insufficiently scrappy.

            • Uncle Ebeneezer

              He also doesn’t just “play the game the right way” either.

          • UberMitch

            I knew Obama should have dumped Biden for Jeter

            • Scott Lemieux

              Jeter still seems only half-scrappy. Now David Murphy or Mark Lemke, that might have put him over the line in Texas.

      • Mike F.

        God I miss Fire Joe Morgan

    • mpowell

      It does work better for baseball than politics, though. Silver measures current polling and a few economic metrics. But his methods can’t project how the economy is going to do or how the public will respond to different messages. With baseball, a player’s former body of work is most of what you need to predict future performance. With a political party, you have to understand the dynamics of what positions they are likely to assume and how those will play with the public.

      • Barry

        “It does work better for baseball than politics, though.”

        Considering that Nate was running at over 99% accuracy in 2008, I think that you’ve got it reversed.

  • I kinda worry about what the wingnuts are gonna do after they’ve convinced themselves they’re gonna win because of “unskewed” polls. My guess if there’s not violence, they will absolutely convince themselves the election was stolen.

    • At which point the 2000 election will have a word with them.

    • You say that as if there was no violence following past elections.

      We will see violence. We always have.

      • c u n d gulag

        If Obama win, we will see blood.

        Conservatives have been pumped full of hate, and primed, locked, and loaded, by FOX, Conservative Op-ed writers, and Right Wing Radio Rushwanda.

        Any semblence of self-restraint has disappeared over the last few years. They will lash out, like the cornered rats they are.

        • Jon

          And that is when Mitt Romney will step forward to soothe the rabid masses and calm their anger, like the true leader he is.

        • If Obama win, we will see blood.

          Yeah. I think so too. *sigh*

      • DrDick

        Like this and this. Modern rightwingers know (falsely) that they are the majority and so refuse to accept defeat.

    • There is always violence in these United Snakes. We’re just so far in the forest we only see the tree, & then only when we bump into them.

      Perhaps there’ll be a noticeable increase in political violence if the incumbent Prez is reatined. And just maybe if people see the conserva-id in its root form, that may be good in the long run. Not that I have much confidence in ‘Merkins to see anything but shiny objects.

    • Moral Panicker

      This is a basic reason why it is good to promote physical strength, to be able to defeat or intimidate enemies, such as the right-wing when (… or if) they convince themselves of a stolen election.

  • I think the problem here is one of spelling: he seems to be trying to predict the outcome of erections.

    • Pestilence

      win

  • Rarely Posts

    Also, let’s not forget that his projection has Romney winning New Mexico! Based on polls, it’s even further out of reach than Oregon and Minnesota.

    It’s sad that the Romney campaign doesn’t have advisers who could inform them that they need to expand the battlefield. It just makes no sense that they’re not putting any resources into swing states like New Mexico, Oregon, Minnesota, or Michigan.

    • efgoldman

      I can’t believe that some unskewed, unwrapped, unhinged nutcake hasn’t predicted that of course Mittster is going to win MA, because he was governor and there’s still a reservoir of voters who remember him fondly.
      There is. Roughly 30%.

      • I do think I saw some idiot somewhere claiming that Illinois was within reach for Romney because he was leading in the Chicago suburbs.

    • shabadoo

      Indeed, these numbers show Romney so far ahead in Ohio and Florida that he’s wasting his time there. He should quit campaigning there and have some rallies in downtown Portland, Oregon, instead.

  • LeeEsq

    Can we small-statured guys ever catch a break? I’m 5’6 and lean because of exercising five days a week. Why does this make me the enemy of masculinity according to conservatives?

    • I dunno, you sound like a real Paul Ryan to me w/ all that exercising.

      Chambers, however, has enough fat reserves to survive the coming “Frankenstorm” & the attendant possibility of a Cheetos shortage w/o having to eat his neighbors.

      • Hogan

        But he’ll probably eat them anyway. Just because.

  • Moral Panicker

    This is a nonsensical and boorish remark by Chambers, but I am not sure you need to go into its “psychosexuality.” Once you do that, Chambers, or I, could easily state that Campos et all are the ones wuith the real psychosexual nerds with what they imagine is a carefully cultivated attitude of detachment while actually only advertising their warped and desperate romanticizations.

    • Oh, it’s a very sensical remark, straightdirect from 10¢ Psych 101.

  • Bob

    Boy are you left wingers in for a surprise come Tuesday. You folks are delusional. Obama is going to be crushed and Silver is going to have to go into hiding. Poor brain dead morons.

    • Malaclypse

      Bookmark it, libtards!

      • Walt

        “Bookmark it, libtards!” cracks me up every time. I imagine the “Book ’em Dano” guy saying it.

    • Chicago Thug

      Hate to break it to you, Bob, but George Soros pays me a hundred bucks for every ballot I cast. I’ve already sent in over 9,000 absentee ballots, and there are hundreds of urbans just like me, Bob.

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