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Nate Silver is clueless

I saw this post titled “Will the Base Abandon Hope?” at the misnamed blog “Politics Done Right” and I had to check to make sure it wasn’t an Onion parody:

So then Barack Obama gets elected, whose very trademark is Hope, and whose very election signifies progress. He promises a lot of things, and you look over the political horizon and see large Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress, a logjam of popular, progressive initiatives, and a neutered and discredited opposition party. And you think to yourself: “Well, knock on wood, but this looks pretty fucking good!”.

And for a little while, things are pretty fucking good. Al Franken — Al Franken! — wins in Minnesota! Arlen Specter switches parties! Man, Republicans are so screwed! The stimulus wasn’t perfect (you’re vaguely worried about a couple of things that Krugman said) but you think to yourself: We’re going to be in the majority for a LONG time. There’s no need to blow our wad all at once.

Over the summer, the unemployment rate continues to go up, and the President’s approval rating continues to go down. But all of this seems like a natural enough part of the political process — the same economic cycles that got your candidate elected were going to cause Obama a few problems, weren’t they? The cute wittle tea parties have evolved into the town hall meetings — those are a little scary, actually. But the Democrats bounce back as resolved as ever to pass a health care bill, and the President makes a strong speech. And there’s always Sarah Palin to make fun of.

In the fall, you begin to see some of your friends on the left question the President. You remind yourself that you’re the Adult in the room, and that some people are never going to be happy — don’t they remember Ralph Nader? Truth be told, you have a few questions yourself, especially about the health care bill. But slowly and surely, it’s working its way through Congress.

The Democrats lose a couple of elections in New Jersey and Virginia — and man, what the hell did Maine just do on gay marriage? Copenhagen goes to shit. But then, on Christmas Eve, Ben Nelson votes for the health care bill! It’s not quite the bill you’d like, but it’s an awfully nice holiday gift — the biggest progressive achievement in years.

After the New Year, there are a few more signs of trouble. A bunch of Democrats retire. Polls — not just Rasmussen — show Obama’s approval below 50 percent. Then one shows that things are closer than expected in Massachusetts, where they’re having an election to replace Ted Kennedy. A Republican can’t possibly win the Kennedy seat, can he?

Yes. He. Can.

Oh, shit.

What the fuck?

That passage goes off track in the first sentence and quickly turns into a train wreck. Obama’s slogan was hope, his trademark is bullshit. When he won the election anyone who was paying attention during the primaries was thinking “we are so fucked” and praying to (insert deity of choice) they were wrong.

Real liberals were happy about Al Franken’s election but disgusted with Arlen Specter’s self-serving switcheroo. We expected that Obama would be a one term wonder and wondered if the Democratic majority would survive past 2010. It was progressives that made fun of Sarah Palin, not liberals. (Our idea of “fun” doesn’t include calling women stupid bimbos.)

Obama’s speeches are so lame even Jeebus couldn’t heal them and Ben Nelson put coal in our stockings on Christmas Eve. The only redeeming value in Martha Coakley’s loss was the possible end of Obamacare.

Vaguely worried? We’re running around screaming like our hair is on fire.

Nate Silver needs to put down the Kool-aid and step away from the punchbowl.

77 Responses

  1. “In the fall, you begin to see some of your friends on the left question the President. You remind yourself that you’re the Adult in the room, and that some people are never going to be happy — don’t they remember Ralph Nader? Truth be told, you have a few questions yourself, especially about the health care bill.”

    Wow. These sounds like the rationalizations of someone with an abusive spouse. Is the entire Democratic party now undergoing Stockholm Syndrome? Are they really that stupid?

    • He sounds nothing like an adult to me. He sounds like a child who hasn’t quite realized that if you eat all the Halloween candy, sweetie, you are going to be very sick…

    • Nate Silver is the kid with the fake science behind Obamania. Another Obot loudmouth who knows nothing about anything and is being unmasked. Obama gave life to quite a few con men with his campaign.

    • Yeah, I know all about this “adult in the room” bullshit. Some smug dude thinks he’s got it all figured out and will tell the rest of us how to think. I am so done with it.

  2. Yes. Teh stupid is gud.

  3. Worse is that people thinking that they are soo clever and intellectual did not see what was coming! I live at the other side of the pond and with some research/attention could figure it out! You just needed to look at what was right in front of you to be worried!

    • I work with self-styled intellectuals. They did not look deeply into Obama and if you tried to get them to, they put their noses in the air and walked away. When I tried to tell a colleague Obama was a gayhater, her response was, “I don’t know anything about that.” She’s an academic and knows how to google, presumably.

      • I know Harvard graduates who drank teh dumb for Obama. One Harvard graduate along with his Obot son convinced his wife to vote for Obama even though she was leaning towards Hillary. When I saw them mention it she looked very regretful. Next time a capable woman runs for president, women should remember to follow their intuition even when all the boyz in the room tell you to vote against your interests. Even if the boyz have Ivy League degrees.

      • The Obot ex shrugged off Obama’s homophobia with a too-bad-for-them attitude.

  4. Silver also did an “analysis” that Krugman said “makes it clear that a better candidate [than Coakley] would have easily won.” But what Silver did was subtract Coakley’s 47% on election day from her highest polling at 58% and assign 11 points minimum of blame to Coakley–overlooking the effect of “national factors” on Coakley’s polling going down.

    If the Obamapologists don’t look more deeply at what happened on Tuesday, they are going to be in for a world of hurt in November. They don’t realize that they are enabling the GOP.

    • Let’s see him explain why Coakley beat Capuano (Obama’s candidate) so badly then. The writing was on the wall that that point. Coakley’s big mistake was not realizing that aligning herself with Obama would be toxic.

  5. You just have to wonder….is 0bama really a Republican mole? What else explains the “stupid”?

    • I think he could be.

    • My hypothesis is that’s it’s just stupid. I think Reid, Kennedy, etc thought they could pull the puppet’s strings. Much they way Cheney pulled Dubya’s for most of his presidency.

    • Not a mole per say, but I think the republicans thoroughly vetted Obama when he ran for the Senate and saw a nice weak candidate who they could manipulate and destroy at will.

      Then the next step was convincing the democrats to support him, which turned out to be easy since the dems were looking for someone to stop Hillary from becoming president.

      I also think the republicans are sitting on something that could destroy Obama’s presidency and they are just bideing there time until they don’t need him anymore.

  6. Some even in B0botland titled their threads “do you feel you took the koolaid”?
    But then again, others took comfort in Brown’s BS and said: Brown: this wasn’t a referendum on Obama”
    Good to see the clown up there!
    Here are the NY tabloids

  7. exactly myiq2xu

  8. Al Jazeera on 1 yr Obama – have not watched it yet, but should be more insightful then CNN


  9. I think Nate Silver is talking more to the MSNBC/Kos/Moveon.org types rather than the rank-and-file Dems who held their nose to vote for O — mostly out of Bush fatigue.

    When you look at it through that lens, it’s a pretty great satire on the impending destruction of the “Blogger Boyz”.

    • Suburban Guerilla has Air America’s announcement that they’re last broadcast is on Jan. 25th and they will be filing for bankruptcy. so much for “progressive” talk radio.

      You’d think with the election of a “progressive” president their listenership would be through the roof. Idiots!!!. I stopped listening to them when they began ganging up on Hillary. I called into Tom Hartman’s show and said it looks like they’re trying to put the kabosh on Hillary. He groaned and replied: No one’s trying to put the kabosh on Hillary. Right!!!! Tell me another one.

      • My goodness, what will the progs do for “news”? 😯

      • I listened to Air America from their first day, but when they started bashing Hillary, that was it. I won’t mourn them.

      • with Obama, the anger on the left has been diffused, so I’m not surprised Air America’s listenership didn’t go up. It’s conservative media that is mining all the backlash to Obama right now. The anger on the left doesn’t have a comparable alternative. Keith O calling Scott Brown sexist really doesn’t cut it.

        While bush was pres, the anger was on the left–and while that didn’t help Air America–it helped moveon, dailykos, etc. with their memberships and readerships.

      • I stopped listening back in 2006. Randi was screaming every day that if we can just get a Dem majority in the House, we can impeach Bush. I was all like, yeah, let’s do it! So we got a majority and the first thing Pelosi says is that impeachment is off the table. Well, that was it for me. I realized that Air America was a clueless tool and I would be an even more clueless tool to listen to them.

  10. I got exhausted from screaming like my hair was on fire. Now I’m just prepping my household the best I can to hunker down because the primaries made it pretty clear to me that Obama was not going to be fixing the economy, health care or anything else. Hope is swell but anyone with a modicum of life experience knows that it isn’t enough to hope, you have to have a plan. I didn’t see anything in the primaries to suggest Obama was doing anything other than winging it.

  11. It’s really simple.

    Until Nate can answer Mr. Brown’s question “Why should the people of Massachusetts pay for Nebraska’s additional Medicaid patients,” NO ONE will pay any attention to Nate and his Obama worshippers except their own inner circle-jerk.

    Bottom line: Scott Brown served his constituents well. The Independents LIKED that he called the Obama administration’s bluff and called it for exactly what it was.

  12. This new strategy to reinflate Obama’s persona by diminishing, debasing or degrading everyone else, yes the bad Clinton years again, women like Coakley blah blah, is so sick further political suicide for the Party. All it’s doing is reinforcing for the emerging enlightened what they were beginning to fear about the Obama Presidency and now the Democratic majorities. The belief that they were duped, conned, and now ripped off fleeced by the Obama Democratic Wall Street Party Machine.

  13. hmm… Ambinder says someone at the State Dept. is being petty in transcribing Hillary’s remarks and “correcting” something she said that wasn’t even a mistake:


    • Sounds like Sen. Kaufman has a mole at state.

      • If they have any real belief that Hill might run in 2012 they will start discrediting her trying to insure that she has nothing to stand on.

  14. No wonder they’re in so much trouble — this is from today’s Politico:

    Obama and White House aides are courteous to the 42nd president when he calls, but in private many of those aides sound very much like George W. Bush’s advisers in disparaging the Clinton years.

    The people around Obama are romantics. They dream of Obama as a transformational figure, looming large on history’s stage. They see Clinton as at best a transitional figure, whose poll-tested pragmatism and incremental policies loom small.


    • To me Bill Clinton will always be the transformational leader of the Democratic party going into the 21st century. Clinton was the true bi-partisan and realist. I think he grasped the political reality of this country in a way the o crowd will never be able to understand. The reason I think he was so transformational at this was that his political dna was born in the South but developed in the 60’s and framed as a Rhodes scholar. He is a liberal and yet he knows what the reality is of Americans who are not; he actually appreciates them. I don’t think I ever remember Clinton making degrading comments about the “redneck rubes” of Arkansas. Hillary certainly supported his liberal and intellectual side. I think the book that will ultimately be written about their political life will be about their political marriage and partnership. They are truly a unique contribution to American history imho.

      • “He is a liberal and yet he knows what the reality is of Americans who are not; he actually appreciates them.”

        Unlike Obama, Bill Clinton has never turned his back on his “roots”. Born into much less than advantaged circumstances, he truly is a self-made man, but one who acknowledges and honors all the influences that have nurtured his development.

        Obama is less self-made than self-imagined. He buries any hint of the mother, grandmother, friends, educators, anyone at all who have played a part in supporting his development or mentored him along the way. He seems to believe that giving credit where due diminishes him, and he seems threatened by anyone else who is deserving of credit. No wonder he can’t allow either Clinton airtime.

    • Obama’s Clinton hatred is going to be his undoing. I honestly think he is obsessed with showing up Bill, and doing everything the opposite of what Bill did. I’ve actually heard freaking Republicans this week suggest that he swallow his enormous pride, invite Big Dawg to Camp David, and have some long talks about how to do this – if he wants to save his presidency and his party. Then they LAUGH and say “Fortunately for us, he will never do it.”

      You can scream about the evil “triangulating” Clinton all you want, but Bill knew how to get shit done even surrounded by hostile conservatives. He did it in Arkansas for years, and he did it in the WH.

      But peace, prosperity, and social advances “loom small” to these idiots. It seems bathetic self-immolation “looms large”. Thanks a lot for the grand gestures, assholes. Our bleeding country, our jobless cities, our empty wallets, and our debt-slave grandchildren all thankyouveryeffingmuch for your adolescent posturing and pursuit of historicalness.

      • Amen WMCB. The tragedy for this country is that o can not do what Clinton was able to do. There is nothing in his life experience that prepares him to do so. Even if he sat down with WJC and took notes, he could not do it—-it is just not who he is and never can be.

      • I’ve never understood why “triangulating” is supposed to be so evil. It’s simply a different way to get where you want to go — when the wind is in your face, as it was after the Republicans won Congress.

        • If you’ve read The Clinton Tapes you get a real sense of who the Big Dawg is and how he thinks.

          These fools haven’t a clue of what real life is about.

      • Big Dawg would help him too, if he asked, because Big Dawg puts America first.
        But BO is such a brat he can’t get past his ego. He’d rather take advice from the thieves who flatter him.

        And going into armchair shrink mode for a bit, I seriously, seriously, sometimes think he’s internalized a lot of resentment against the USA from his unsettled childhood and he doesn’t really like America. Gawd help me for sounding like a winger for saying that.
        I’m saying that as an immigrant citizen and one parent was an ex-pat US cit. I didn’t grow up here and I know I personally do not have the same innate loyalty to the USA that my kids, who were born here, do. I love the USA but not as much as they do. It’s something that has to grow in childhood. I have mixed feelings about my birth country but there is always a strong sense of reflexive identity and loyalty about it. /armchair shrink

        • I’ll armchair shrink as well. I think a lot of his conflicting feelings about his parents and his childhood abandonment got mixed up with his political identity – he transferred a lot of that resentment to his ideology and the country.

          No, I’m NOT a freaking loony birther who thinks he consciously hates America. I just think that a lot of what he feels about this country is coming from a very mixed-up place emotionally. It’s a nasty stew down inside there.

          • Yes, that’s exactly what I was trying to say, only you said it better and clearer. 🙂

            For a president, a country need someone with very unconflicted, pure loyalty and patriotism. It’s a basic job requirement, imo.

          • ITA. I think the man is a psychological mess and it was very stupid of Americans to put him in such a position of power. His misogyny is deep-rooted, his (white) grandfather who raised him must have been a real pig. The way Obama treated his mother (not going to her deathbed) and his grandmother (shaming her in front of the nation to gain politic points) is sick. The man is one sick puppy. I hope he doesn’t completely melt down on our watch.

          • Obama probably joined Rev. Wright’s United Church of Christ for reasons of political expediency and job necessity to advance his community organizer goals rather than having a real spiritual conversion. He chose to listen for 20+ years to a mentor who espoused Marxist based Black Liberation Theology. Obama reportedly even took tapes of Rev. Wright’s preaching with him to Harvard Law School.

            Whether he initially consciously embraced BLT or not, how could he have not absorbed some of the ideology even if unconsciously? Is there any evidence to indicate that he ever pushed back and challenged his associates regarding their ideologies? If one is known by the company they choose to keep, then Obama associated with quite the toxic brew in Chicago from the Daley machine, to spoiled brat criminal elites like Ayers and hate mongers/profiteers like Rev. Wright.

            My arm chair analysis is that Obama is soulless. He seems to have a tendency to deceive and manipulate others for personal gain. Obama seems unable to take a principled stand based on his own core values and beliefs. Maybe that’s because his core belief appears to be “use any means to achieve what he deems necessary”. I think he is Machiavelli’s “Prince”.

    • They see Clinton as at best a transitional figure, whose poll-tested pragmatism and incremental policies loom small.

      What unmitigated bullshit. I couldn’t even get past the first page because I saw this–

      Clinton didn’t gratuitously distance himself from Democrats. But after 1994, he did make it clear that he was more interested in being president of the United States than leader of the Democratic Party, something that previously had been unclear.

      Obama has found himself in a similar predicament. In fairness, Republicans have not exactly been falling over themselves to work with him.

      Under the Clinton formula, Obama would never surrender an aura of bipartisanship — no matter how bitterly partisan Washington becomes. Even more important, he would never want his public image tied to the reputation of his party and its congressional leaders.

      Bill Clinton’s bipartisanship was a VERY different animal than Barack Obama’s. And, it’s the Democratic party that has been dumb enough not to want to associate themselves with Bill Clinton. Speaking of which–the reason Obama’s health reform effort was health deform is because he and his team were so caught up in “not repeating the mistakes of Clinton” and “doing what Clinton couldn’t do” and they couldn’t have cared less about what was actually in the piece of shit policy.

      • You want to know how badly the Obamabots hate Bill Clinton? He was booed by them at the 2008 Nevada State Democratic convention. A former President and standard-bearer of the Democratic party was BOOED at a Democratic State Convention. I was horrified.

        • Pfft. Many of the obots are W voters.

        • I’m amazed by this. It’s incredible to me that Pres. Clinton would even appear at the Nevada Dem convention. Most likely it will be the one and only time.

  15. Silver’s piece is stupid in its analysis of reality but probably a pretty accurate picture of how this group functions and thinks (or doesn’t). One of his most telling little barbs is his throwaway line about having Palin to make fun of—yeah, that is the evidence of who the adult(s) in the room is/are.

  16. I’m thinking Obama playing Nicole Kidman’s role in To Die For

    but more seriously, financial reform the regulation of derivatives – busting up to big to fail absolutely should have been job 1 and I worry there will be surprises forthcoming for this lost opportunity over the last year…. But it’s a bit alarming that Obama is taking his tough guy act out for a spin in this manner, at this time, now reportedly spooking not only WS but the World Markets …..an early election year surprise, I hope not

    • He appears to be floating a trial balloon—-a policy initiative not fully vetted or developed. For a US president to do economic policy via trial balloons is reckless. He appears to be throwing ideas at the wall and hoping to see what sticks. Economic policy for political purposes is a very bad, bad idea.

      • Or an intended politcal stunt think NAFTA gaff during the Ohio Primary

        this just out
        By Karey Wutkowski and Steve Eder

        WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Jan 21 (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has expressed some skepticism behind closed doors about the broad bank limits proposed on Thursday by his boss, President Barack Obama, according to financial industry sources.

        The sources, speaking anonymously because Geithner has not spoken publicly about his reservations, said the Treasury chief is concerned the proposed limits on big banks’ trading and size could impact U.S. firms’ global competitiveness.


        • sounds like … there’s Trouble in River City… that’s Trouble with a capital T!…

  17. It’s not really about Clinton never was, it’s about Obama Axelrove’s need to secure a sense of superiority after the referendum of the failure of Obama’s Presidency by Massachusetts voters, and neutralizing those feelings by being contemptuous of Clinton so they don’t have to feel as stupid as they are.

    • For all their degrees and so-called intelligence, these people have the mental and emotional maturity of 14-year-olds. Their responses to being thwarted and to the cold hard realities of life, mirror to a tee the 4 teenagers I’ve raised.

      Fortunately, my kids grew up. These guys never did, and are treating us to The Peter Pan Syndrome writ large on the national stage.

    • Obama looks like he’s trying to jump in front of the parade as it passes the reviewing stand, just like he always has.

  18. Rarely do I enjoy the NY Times anymore, but this is a good editorial:

    The Court’s Blow to Democracy

    As a result of Thursday’s ruling, corporations have been unleashed from the longstanding ban against their spending directly on political campaigns and will be free to spend as much money as they want to elect and defeat candidates. If a member of Congress tries to stand up to a wealthy special interest, its lobbyists can credibly threaten: We’ll spend whatever it takes to defeat you.


  19. Nate Silver is high off his ass – I’ll take the under on “turning things around” by Nov. Unemployment rate in MA rose back to 9.4. http://www.bostonherald.com/business/general/view/20100122bay_state_unemployment_rate_kicks_back_up_dogged_by_job_losses/

    Plus – sports analogies are terrible ways to look at things because sports are childrens games – but Nate, getting to the 1 yard line gets you exactly 0 points .

  20. Tavis Smiley has a good piece up on Hillary. He will be doing a PBS special on her to air next Wednesday at 8pm.


    He is amazed at her work ethic:

    Her job is even harder than I thought. I’ve interviewed five secretaries of state: Lawrence Eagleburger, Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright, Gen. Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, all of whom have tried to convey to me the sheer intensity inherent in this position.

    It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to spend some time with Clinton, however, that I came to better understand the long days and late nights, endless travel, contentious congressional hearings, international arm-twisting and domestic wrangling that come with the job. This kind of public service is unduly taxing, especially given that diplomacy is a game of inches and not yards, where there are rarely clear-cut wins or losses. It makes me wonder why Hillary Rodham Clinton, at age 62, and with a legacy that is already locked and loaded, would even want to be the U.S. secretary of state.

    • That’s awesome.
      Imagine if she were in the Oval Office *sob*

      Interesting that he pointed out that she tunes into Fox.

  21. Smart! :mrgreen:

  22. HuffPo: http://tinyurl.com/ydln9xr

    “Obama Finally Gets His Victory For Bipartisanship”

    “The President’s steadfast refusal to acknowledge that we have a two-party system, his insistence on making destructive concessions to the same party voters he had sent packing twice in a row in the name of “bipartisanship,” and his refusal ever to utter the words “I am a Democrat” and to articulate what that means, are not among his virtues. We have competing ideas in a democracy — and hence competing parties — for a reason. To paper them over and pretend they do not exist, particularly when the ideology of one of the parties has proven so devastating to the lives of everyday Americans, is not a virtue. It is an abdication of responsibility.

    What happens if you refuse to lay the blame for the destruction of our economy on anyone — particularly the party, leaders, and ideology that were in power for the last 8 years and were responsible for it? What happens if you fail to “brand” what has happened as the Bush Depression or the Republican Depression or the natural result of the ideology of unregulated greed, the way FDR branded the Great Depression as Hoover’s Depression and created a Democratic majority for 50 years and a new vision of what effective government can do? What happens when you fail to offer and continually reinforce a narrative about what has happened, who caused it, and how you’re going to fix it that Americans understand, that makes them angry, that makes them hopeful, and that makes them committed to you and your policies during the tough times that will inevitably lie ahead? “

  23. Jeebus he’s a complete moron. How can someone be that bas ackwards.

  24. http://www.newsweek.com/id/231674

    The Politics of Hubris

    A bridge too far. Bought his own press. Choose your own metaphor: Obama overreached.
    By Michael Hirsh | Newsweek Web Exclusive
    Jan 20, 2010

    Someone must have misinformed Barack Obama when he ran for president that the U.S. Constitution allotted him only a one-year term, rather than four years. Otherwise it’s difficult to understand why, faced with solving a Depression-size economic crisis, two wars, and global warming to boot, he felt that he also had to grab hold of the third-rail issue of health care during his inaugural year.

    It’s been a disaster, of course, and may go down as one of the biggest political miscalculations in modern history. For the American public—haunted by too many rounds of layoffs, appalled by Wall Street’s government-aided Grand Heist, aghast at the size of federal spending that never seems to find its way into their pockets—health care was simply an intervention too far. Cue the tea partiers—and one freshly minted senator and future Republican rock star, Scott Brown. Lay poor Teddy Kennedy to rest all over again.

    There was nothing new about this, of course. It falls into the age-old annals of hubris, the same excess of pride that got Achilles and Agamemnon in trouble with the gods. Obama apparently did buy into the idea that he was a Man of Destiny and, being one, possessed bottomless supplies of political capital. But he really had no more political capital than any first-year president, and he was straining his reserves just dealing with the stimulus and financial reform, much less fixing Afghanistan.

    • He and his advisors really seemed to think that if they just did everything the opposite to the way the Clintons had, that all would magically work out for them. Crazy.

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