Nate Silver, in his long suffering the frustrations of the logically damned, finally snaps:
What I find confounding about this ['tossup' dispute] is that the argument we’re making is exceedingly simple. Here it is:
Obama’s ahead in Ohio.
I love it.
I recall once writing a roughly 600-word column--consisting only of the same five words, repeated over and over--during the raging "public option" conflagration. For weeks I had defended, by way of a straightforward explanation, Obama's ultimate choice to cut the public option loose. He simply didn't possess the necessary votes in the Senate. That much was clear--absolutely clear. So, he could go forward with what he did have, or there would be no healthcare reform at all. Many readers, however, would have nothing to do with this "argument"; Obama, they said, should just fight, fight, fight for the public option, which, somehow, would magically make it so.
As stated, for weeks I argued in this way and then in that way, and then again in some other way, that President Obama had hit a legislative wall. Yet nothing, nothing I wrote seemed to get through to the above readers. So in utter frustration I one day just sat down and wrote, "Obama doesn't have the votes." Period. Then I reversed the sentence. Period. Then I scrambled the five words. Period. Then I capitalized one particular word component but not others--period--and then I italicized particular word components--period--but, essentially, the sentence always read the same: "Obama doesn't have the votes."
The entire column.
(By the way, it didn't help. Readers persisted in calling for Obama to just fight, fight, fight for the public option, and in calling me a corporate shill.)
My sympathies to you, Nate.