Some conservatives are not terribly fond of Nate Silver, the renowned blogger and statistics wonk behind Fivethirtyeight. For one thing, he keeps predicting that Obama will win. (80.8% chance as of this writing.) Those conservatives, who are fond of the narrative of Romney Momentum, feel that Nate Silver is randomly making up numbers in order to… make people… confident Obama will win… so they… vote for Obama… or something… Okay, the logic might be a little dim here, but what’s even dimmer is their argument about why Mr. Silver is not to be trusted about polls.
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.
Oh god! Not a thin and effeminate man! Who’s short! Someone fetch me my smelling salts!
People like me, who do not have the ovaries to endure Mr. Limbaugh, may not know what a New Castrati is. I have listened to this video from Mr. Limbaugh’s show so you don’t have to! Apparently they “gesture like a geisha,” that is, like a stereotypically feminine and submissive racist stereotype, and like they’re “effeminate” and speak with a stereotypical gay lisp. They think they’re erudite and smart and care about silly things like “racism” and “Islamophobia.”
So, yes, they are arguing that we shouldn’t listen to Mr. Silver or care about his opinions because he isn’t manly enough.
See, if I were going to make a list of people I trust about predicting election results, my list would look like this:
- Understands statistics well
- Obvious passion for numbers
- Explains reasoning behind predictions
- Strong track record of correct predictions
Which Mr. Silver fulfills quite well. On the other hand, some people’s list apparently looks more like this:
- Deep, non-lisping voice
- Moves in a decisive and masculine fashion
You know, I’m honestly not certain if they’re looking for a statistician or a romance novel hero.
Photo– DonkeyHotey/Flickr. The elephant and donkey symbols of the US Republican and Democratic parties.