Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

The Republican War On Objectivity: Nate Silver Edition

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 29, 2012

Paul Krugman reads Brad DeLong, and via Brad he found out about the National Review’s bizarre attack on Nate Silver for what they, without meaningful evidence, insinuate are wrong and biased poll numbers. Like all decent people, he is horrified:

Yet the right — and we’re not talking about the fringe here, we’re talking about mainstream commentators and publications — has been screaming “bias”! They know, just know, that Nate must be cooking the books. How do they know this? Well, his results look good for Obama, so it must be a cheat. Never mind the fact that Nate tells us all exactly how he does it, and that he hasn’t changed the formula at all.

This is, of course, reminiscent of the attack on the Bureau of Labor Statistics — not to mention the attacks on climate science and much more. On the right, apparently, there is no such thing as an objective calculation. Everything must have a political motive.

This is really scary. It means that if these people triumph, science — or any kind of scholarship — will become impossible. Everything must pass a political test; if it isn’t what the right wants to hear, the messenger is subjected to a smear campaign.

All so a bunch of really rich businesses can continue to run roughshod over us without contributing to the larger community.

6 Responses to “The Republican War On Objectivity: Nate Silver Edition”

  1. Charles II said

    Where’s Krugman been for the last 15 years? The post-Gingrich GOP has always been clear in its demands for party loyalty above all.

    There’s something interesting going on. The Republican-leaning polls (Gallup and Rasmussen) have been showing a surge for Romney. Everyone else shows a pretty much static race. Whether it’s planned or not, conservatives are being primed to believe their guy will win.

    They’re going to be ugly if it turns out that Gallup and Rasmussen are wrong.

    Oh, heck. They’re ugly no matter what.

  2. MEC said

    My concern is that the Republican-leaning polls are being primed to support a Romney “win”.

    • Charles II said

      Well, precisely, MEC. But as Greg Palast says, Make them steal your vote.

      In the end, the amount of power a leader has depends on their perceived legitimacy. Bush’s power was weakened because he had to steal Florida (and then Ohio). Obama’s power was weakened by the Kenyan-Mooslim-terrorist slanders, which enough gullible people believed to reduce his perceived legitimacy. If Romney’s people have a hard time stealing the election, they’re more likely to make an error that comes to public light.

      If it’s hard enough, they might even back off from stealing.

      • Wege said

        Like MEC, the more I read about the registration flipping in Cali and faux poll outrage, the more convinced I am that there will be a wave of electronic voting theft like we’ve never seen before (outside of Ohio), and that this is all a set up to make it look more legit.

        I’m actually worried now, and thinking maybe the alarmists claiming new Mormon ownership of electronic voting machine companies may be rooted in fact.

      • Charles II said

        So put another vote in the Obama column, Wege, and get a few friends to do likewise.

        The prostrate East Coast is likely to have a million people who won’t be able to vote, so people in more fortunate circumstances need to stand up to these a–holes.

      • Mark Gisleson said

        Well, I’ve given more thought to my Jill Stein vote. I’m not really sure I want to help keep Greens on the ballot in MN. If Obama gets his bump back here, I think I’ll write in “Jesus.”

        If you haven’t heard, there’s supposed to be a one-million signature evangelical pledge to write in “Jesus,” and the supporting pitch specifically rips Romney for being a Mormon. I would love to see evangelicals remove themselves from the process. People who vote their church scare the hell out of me. If Jesus gets a million write-in votes, the GOP is doomed because the church is not growing in this country.

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