CARL DIGGLER’S FRIDAY MAILBAG: Nathan Silver Has No Chill — And Why the GOP Has a Family Court Future

Read
(credit: Shutterstock)

Hola Digheads! Beware the Ides of Meltdown May. At least that’s what I’m telling FiveThirtyEight’s Nathan “Nate” Silver after yesterday’s crackup. Take a look at this:

screen_shot_2016-05-05_at_10.44.51_pm_720screen_shot_2016-05-05_at_10.44.47_pm_720

Sweet lord! Get a grip, Nathan. We can’t all be The Dig!

Anyway, in honor of my trouncing of the Numbers Virgins both emotionally and statistically, here’s this week’s song

Yes, just like Biggie, I’m a bruiser from Brooklyn who’s bringing a hardcore urban edge and precision to the game!

But on that note, I can’t leave you without my 88th prediction of 2016:

Guam Democratic caucus (7 delegates): Hillary Clinton

Håfa ådai, Digheads! Democrats on this little island in the Eastern Pacific will be gathering at a shopping mall tomorrow to have their say about the party’s nominee. And my gut tells me that Guamanians are Ready For Her. Guam was brutally occupied by the Japanese in World War II, and folks here have long memories. They are repulsed by Bernie, a candidate whose support base is made up of anime-loving, mom’s-basement-dwelling hikikomori who have nothing better to do that harass women and veteran journalists on Twitter all day while fantasizing about teaching English in Japan (as if anyone anywhere had anything to learn from the Bernie Bros). So komplimenta to Hillary for likely winning Guam on her unstoppable march to the nomination (and, ultimately, prison).

Anyway, on to your questions!

Carl, Paul Ryan said he isn’t sure he can support Donald Trump. Is there a crackup coming?

– David Jamrock in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

The process of the rest of the party coming around to a controversial presumptive nominee is a lot like marriage. Think of Trump as the bombastic, eager would-be spouse and Paul Ryan representing the reluctant fiancé of the GOP elite. Ryan will try to play hard to get by bringing up Trump’s multiple inadequacies and personality defects, but, at the end of the day, Trump is going to buy him some shoes that melt those doubts away.

That’s not to say it will be a happy marriage; you can’t keep buying shoes forever. But before the family court crackup which will come in November, Paul Ryan will fall in line and sleep in the big bed with The Donald — at least for four nights per week.

Howdy, Dig! Congratulations on crushing Nate Silver in your forecasting battle. It was quite satisfying watching Nate’s total Twitter meltdown as he succumbed to the brawny predictive prowess of the best pundit of all time!

It should please you to know that Nate wasn’t our only rival to go down in flames this week. My nemesis, Adam Pepsi, the cowardly steam engine-loving Train Table Simulator 2014 Twitch streamer, was publicly humiliated thanks to my cunning.

In case you missed all this go down on my Twitch stream, I’ll recap. This weekend, when Adam got off his flight in Newark Airport, he wasn’t greeted by a curvy Otis elevator-loving internet girlfriend, as he expected. Instead he was met at the baggage area by ME, THE MILK, livestreaming his humiliation for the entire TTS14 community. You should have seen the look on his face as I explained how his long distance lover HotSteam83 had been me all along, our late-night private chat sessions all a genius ruse to lure him into my clutches.

There Adam was, a thousand miles from home, stammering and whimpering as I detailed the superiority of diesel engines to steam engines point-by-point then reiterated my challenge to a Train-Off.

But then something else happened.

As I finished my prepared monologue on why only a complete fool could believe that Otis elevators are superior to ThyssenKrupp elevators, the bouquet of flowers Adam was holding fell to the ground, and I looked in his eyes and noticed tears welling.

In Adam’s face I saw not a steam engine-loving dastard, but a human being, fragile and vulnerable as we all are. I thought back to those late night chats where his facade of train scheduling superiority and confidence cracked, where he exposed his deepest fears to HotSteam83 and admitted that sometimes he wonders maybe he’s wrong about everything, that maybe diesel engines are okay too, that maybe one day we could all live in a world where diesel and steam would share the same 1435.1 mm gauge track in perfect harmony.

I sensed the totality of Adam’s weakness, and do you know what I did, Dig Man?

I used it.

I explained to my Twitch audience and various strangers at the airport that not only was Adam a complete moron and a coward for loving inferior steam engines, he was so weak he didn’t even have the courage of his own convictions! As my coup de grace, I read them print-outs of our ICQ chats, loudly emphasizing the parts that exposed his sexual neuroses and impotence so that all the world could see Adam Pepsi for the steam weakling he really is.

We have a saying on the Train Table Simulator 2014 GameFAQs message board: “Slippery as diesel, light as steam.” I thought of that koan as I marched victorious out of Newark Airport, leaving Adam there to sleep in the terminal until his return flight next week. We men of the diesel are slick. We are adaptable, efficient, silent, and deadly. Much like that venerable train engine, we can always be counted on.

We will never surrender to steam.

– David “The Milk” Milkberg, Essex Co., NJ

David,

Although I explicitly told you to never contact me about train-related issues ever again, I am on some level pleased that you did not extend to me another harebrained invitation to a “New Jersey clam fest” or “Train-Off.” I consider this an improvement. Thank you for trying harder, and congratulations on whatever it is your rambling letter is referring to.

Carl “The Dig” Diggler has covered national politics for 30 years, and is the author of “Think-ocracy: The Rise Of The Brainy Congressman”. Got a question for the Dig? E-mail him at carl@cafe.com or Tweet to @carl_diggler.

To try CAFE’s Morning Shot email, sign up here.