Nate Silver has written a piece called "Why Progressives Are Batshit Crazy To Oppose the Senate Bill." He says we need to stop being "polite" (who's polite these days?) and start being "real." In the spirit of impoliteness and reality (realness?), he offers some numbers in order to argue that the Left is nuts not to embrace the Senate health reform bill.
In that same "no-politeness" spirit, here's my response: Garbage in, garbage out. Is that "real" enough for ya? Progressives - and everyone else, for that matter - should keep fighting.
Silver's heart may be in the right place, and his math is right, but many of his assumptions are flat-out wrong. More importantly, he fails to place his work in the proper human and political context. It's like this: You can build the best model in the world for predicting the outcome of hockey games. But if you knew that sometime during the third period Rahm Emanuel was going to drive out on the ice in a Zamboni and flatten your team's entire defense, wouldn't that change your model a little? And if you knew half the hockey players would wind up bleeding and broken ... (Oh, wait - they do. Bad example.)
Progressives would be insane to do as Silver suggests. He tells us that "a picture's worth a thousand words" (and then gives us 1,795 words - but who's counting). Let's review both his analysis and his conclusions.