GOP 101: Don’t Like The Message? Attack The Messengeron October 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm
A significant problem for conservatives bent on spinning this alternate reality is New York Times‘ polling guru Nate Silver and his 538 forecast model, which called 49 out of 50 states accurately in 2008 and is considered the industry’s gold standard (the model also pretty much nailed the 2010 mid-terms). As I write, Silver’s model gives Barack Obama a 68 percent chance of winning reelection, with a projected 288 Electoral College votes.
As one might expect in such circumstances, Silver is now becoming a target of the Right. We’ve seen ‘poll truthers’ who think all the big pollsters are intentionally skewing their results in Obama’s favor, and ‘debate truthers” who insist that moderators are in the tank and the questions are rigged to make Romney look bad. Now we’re seeing the emergence of ‘Nate Silver truthers,’ who attack the numbers-cruncher as if he’s a pundit expressing a personal opinion rather than a statistics geek who developed a very robust computer model. And they’re using the same tactics they deploy to deny climate change – launching ad hominem attacks on an expert — calling him corrupt — rather than offering a criticism of the methodology of his model, a criticism they don’t have the technical knowledge to come up with.
And there’s the GOP in a nutshell: lies, distortions, personal attacks and more lies. I half-expect “Dr.” Kieth Ablow, Fox’s psychiatric shill that will say anything he’s paid to, to “diagnose” Silver as some kind of crazed liberal deviant.
Here’s what the right is so worried about:
Can’t have a highly respected and amazingly accurate number cruncher telling it like it is! That’s a no-no in Republican circles! Unless it’s good news for Republicans, of course. The worst part? Silver has the must-win (for Romney, at least) state of Ohio with a 73% chance of going to Obama. Silver is officially an enemy combatant and the attacks on him are going to escalate going forward. Count on it.