Last night was an active one for Nate Silver, the soothsaying savant of political polling site FiveThirtyEight. In a Twitter spat with Mother Jones Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffrey, he compared the closure of U.S. schools due to the Omicron variant to the policy failures that led to the invasion of Iraq, because, why not.
The Twitterati is shocked — a website man of numbers engaging in petty, baiting behavior as a side effect of having Terminal Poster’s Disease? Oh, my dear boy! Polls are brief, but my memory is long. Nate Silver has always been like this. And by “like this,” I mean one of Twitter’s top unintentional comedians.
Let’s run the numbers and look at some of his greatest hits.
Nate Silver Reminiscing About the Time He Got to Eat a Burrito in Jail (in Response to Michael Brown’s murder)
In a whopping eight-parter in the wake of the Ferguson riots in response to police officer Darren Wilson murdering an 18-year-old in 2014, Silver told what I’m sure he thought was a charming story being detained by police officers after confronting them in his neighborhood. After he was carted to jail, he explained his actions by saying “Sorry guys, was just stressed out and having a rough day…my bad,” and was then given a burrito to nosh on in his cell. The horror!
Nate Silver Feeling Sexually Intimidated by Loose New York Women (in Response to AOC’s Political Stardom)
This is the only conclusion I can draw from Silver calling Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “quintessentially a New Yorker,” compared to D.C. residents who are “formal and prudish.”
Nate Silver SMHing That Libs Can’t Let Trump Have “One Good Day” (in Wake of Killing ISIS Leader)
After the Trump-backed raid that killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, Silver responded to a now-deleted Jamie Lee Curtis tweet (LOL) that wasn’t appropriately deferential to the president.
Can’t we give kudos where kudos are due?, Silver asked the bitterly divided nation.
Nate Silver Imploring CDC Researchers to Leave the Science to Him, Zeynep Tufekci, and Matt Yglesias
Silver criticized a group of scientists advising vaccine roll-out for the CDC for “NOT following the science.”
The scientist in charge replied that Silver was willfully misunderstanding how the (then-non distributed vaccine) would work. Later, Silver pointed out that he and other bad boy renegades like Matt Yglesias were leading the public health conversation.
Nate Silver Saying “Eh” About Donald Trump’s Twitter Ban
In a televised ABC segment called “Do You Buy That?” Silver said “I don’t really buy that this is a huge barrier to Trump’s aspirations in 2024.” It’s too soon to know if this Trump reply guy is right or wrong, but based on his past predictions, I’m sure this video will come back to haunt him.