Monday, February 16, 2009

Living & Loving In The Beehive State

Though he started out in the arcane world of professional baseball stats as a number-meister extraordinaire, Nate Silver has nearly officially morphed into the next big thing in political prognostication. With the same attention to detail & his nearly-trademarked kit-glove handling of ostensibly insignificant minutiae that he pours into baseball, Nate may have started out as an internet sports sensation, but his ability to not only read but forecast the direction of the political winds with as much apparent ease as his nearly dead-on sports prognostication has only served to add to Nate’s notoriety & “street creds,” as they say.

The day of the 2008 election, on his political website,, Nate predicted a final Electoral College vote in favor of Barack Obama of 349 to 189, off by only 16 electoral votes. While he (fortunately) incorrectly predicted that Obama would "narrowly [lose]…Indiana" to John McCain, he was spot-on in calling not only my own home state of Florida for Obama, but Virginia & North Carolina, too. I remember well hoping against hope that Nate was right, but having strong doubts about not only Obama’s ability to flip two reliably crimson red states like VA & NC to sapphire blue, but his chances of delivering a state like Florida with nearly every statewide office being held by the GOP as well as a nearly non-existent state Democratic Party over to the political light side. Nate’s proven adroitness in calling political winners with as much ease & nearly as much accuracy as calling baseball games has made me a true-blue believer. While I'm on the subject of colors, I gotta say that, as one of his newest fans, I think Nate Silver is golden! :-)

This is my admittedly long-winded preface to the issue about which I am really writing today. Nate is reporting on his website that Jon Huntsman, the Republican governor of Utah has announced his support for civil unions for same-sex couples. For me, it’s not as personally satisfying as if Gov. Huntsman had endorsed full marriage rights for same-sex couples and, in the best of all possible worlds, it would have been nice if the governor had made his sentiments known earlier in his political career as opposed to the end of his term, but, considering from whence comes this news—Ground Zero for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints—this is really pretty big news!

In putting this announcement into proper perspective, Nate writes on that this die-hard Republican’s conversion is "in its own quiet way, just as much as a cultural signifier as [California’s] Proposition 8. The days in which bigotry can be exchanged for votes may be numbered."

One can only hope...and keep fighting the Good Fight.

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