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Right-wing psychosexual obsessions, Nate Silver edition

[ 114 ] October 27, 2012 |

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.

Comments (114)

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  1. 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.

    • Tim O'Keefe says:

      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 says:

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

  2. Bobbo says:

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

    • Matthew B. says:

      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.

  3. 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 says:

      President McCain hates Nate Silver.

    • Trolly McTroll says:

      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 says:

      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.

  4. Rob in Buffalo says:

    Here is the manly man who wrote that article.

    • “I yield! I yield!”

    • Jeremy says:

      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.

      • LosGatosCA says:

        But I hear he’s rated highly by the ladies at

        • mch says:

          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 says:

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

    • Trolly McTroll says:

      It is worth noting here that he approvingly cited Rush Limbaugh’s caricature of Mr. New Castrati.

      • Trolly McTroll says:

        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.

  5. Janastas359 says:

    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.

  6. gmack says:

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

  7. DrDick says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

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

      • Barry says:

        “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.

  8. Joshua says:

    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 says:

      a rich joke. Grifters are always welcome on the Right

    • Richard Hershberger says:

      “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.

  9. Bruce Baugh says:

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

  10. 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 says:

      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 says:

        When did LGM start running personal ads?

        • Rarely Posts says:

          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 says:

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

      • efgoldman says:

        You didn’t like bouncing yuppies?

    • M. Bouffant says:

      a deep bass
      Fish or large fiddle?

  11. Ed Marshall says:

    Does he know that Nate Silver is gay?

  12. c u n d gulag says:

    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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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 says:

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

    • 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.

    • mpowell says:

      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 says:

        “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.

  15. vacuumslayer says:

    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.

    • Colin says:

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

    • DocAmazing says:

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

      We will see violence. We always have.

      • c u n d gulag says:

        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.

      • DrDick says:

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

    • M. Bouffant says:

      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 says:

      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.

  16. DocAmazing says:

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

  17. Rarely Posts says:

    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 says:

      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%.

    • shabadoo says:

      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.

  18. LeeEsq says:

    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?

    • M. Bouffant says:

      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.

  19. Moral Panicker says:

    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.

  20. Bob says:

    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.

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