Everyone remembers the time when Nate Silver predicted disaster for a particular party’s election prospects, and operatives of said party turned on Silver and denounced him for predictions inconvenient to their side, thus proving that operatives of said party are epistemically closed and live in a bubble where facts and reality are not welcome. Right?
Did you think that I was writing about Silver’s opinions and predictions regarding Republican prospects in 2012? Well . . . I wasn’t.
Now, let’s be fair. It’s March, 2014, not November, 2014. A lot can happen in a little over seven months. But I can’t tell the difference between Nate Silver (2014 Edition) and Nate Silver (2012 Edition). In each year, Silver looked at the political facts on the ground, and then made periodic judgments regarding how well–or how poorly–each party was doing in its respective races. Republicans didn’t like what Silver was saying back in 2012, so they decided to try to undermine his credibility. This was a mistake, of course; Republicans should have heeded Silver’s warnings and worked to try to address the weaknesses his analysis revealed. Now, the shoe is on the other foot, and 2014’s Democrats are doing their best imitation of 2012’s Republicans.
I of course look forward to the “reality-based community’s” denunciations of this kind of head-in-the-sand behavior. Those denunciations should be coming any day now . . .