With this election season shaping up to be one of the most bizarre in American history, we’ve had to search inside ourselves—and look outside the usual pundits and commentators—to make sense of everything. Enter a different kind of commentator: the seemingly out-of-touch but scary-accurate "Chief Beltway Insider Hack" Carl Diggler.
Written by Felix Biederman (@byyourlogic) and Virgil Texas (@virgiltexas), the Diggler parody character has put forth biting analysis and shown an uncanny ability to predict elections, successfully calling the Iowa results in order, the Democratic primary on Super Tuesday with nearly 100 percent accuracy, and other races, including New Hampshire’s better than actual pundits like Nate Silver.
Diggler’s commentary can be found on his Twitter account, where he often demands (to no avail) to be verified, and on Cafe.com, a political news website with a satirical bent. He has been mistaken for a real pundit on more than one occasion by journalists and candidates themselves.
We checked in with “The Dig” on how he manages to make these predictions, his thoughts on the remaining candidates and their followings, and what’s next for these elections.
What do you think about the primaries Tuesday night? Any surprises?
Not to this reporter! I correctly predicted all five. Some were too afraid to call Arizona, or almost anything at all (*cough* Nate Silver *cough* ;P), but my patented voter categorization techniques paid off with a 100% accurate Tuesday night.
What are your methods behind your super accurate predictions?
The Carl Diggler model uses exactly two variables: gut and experience. I've learned a lot from a lifetime of watching politics. Take the Idaho caucus for example. I knew from experience that Idaho Democrats consist of aging hippies selling handcrafts in rural arts towns and angry middle-aged loners who moved to unheated shacks in the mountains to run away from their past lives. And I knew from gut that these voting blocs love Bernie. So I called Idaho for Sanders, and I was right.
With Utah, I knew that traditions in plural marriage meant that voters see women as property, so another Sanders landslide. I also knew that the Mormon distrust of vagrants would mean John Kasich had no shot at upending a 50-point-plus Ted Cruz win.
Bernie has some very favorable (read: white and misogynist) states coming up, but he faces both an insurmountable delegate gap
What sets you different from other pundits and columnists?
I'm better looking! Ha ha! Seriously, though, my answer is fairness. I've reached this high point in my career as a universally respected member of the punditocracy because my peers view me as aggressively fair to both sides. These days, radical centrists like me and my friends Ron Fournier and Michael Smerconish are a dying breed. My fellow commentators know that they can trust me to be unbiased when covering controversial issues like how high we need to raise the retirement age (85 vs. infinite), or which of Hillary Clinton's emails is the most heinous.
What do you think about the different candidates’ supporters? Can you talk about Bernie Bros?
Ted Cruz: Enthusiastic, spectrum men who write long, inscrutable posts about the 17th amendment, fiat currency, black helicopters, and radio call-in shows that have blocked their numbers. They mostly live out west, and excel in caucuses because of their deep love of rules.
Donald Trump: Independents and Republicans who love “yuge” laughs and ethnic cleansing. As I’ve noted, Trump splits evangelicals with Cruz; western state evangelicals are more concerned with owning homophobic bakeries, so they’re natural Cruz supporters. Eastern evangelicals are more afraid of the knockout game and ISIS Latinos, so they’re natural Trump supporters.
John Kasich: Drifters, scallywags, town drunks, etc. Outside of Kasich’s core group of train-hopping hobos, he enjoys support from suburban voters who are charmed by his stories and happy-go-lucky attitude.
Hillary Clinton: A diverse coalition of 35-year-old-plus bloggers, investment bankers with an interest in social justice, and woke defense contractors. These sisters are doing it for themselves!
Bernie Sanders: The worst of the worst. Bernie draws huge crowds of mostly men who come to his rallies in order to manspread. When they’re not vaping, I’ve found that they’re coordinating harassment and misogyny, and even beating up veteran reporters.
You have called Donald Trump “the Joker but real” and Ted Cruz “bloblike” and “defective.” Who is worse?
These are objective facts, not criticisms. It's really not up to me to judge the candidates—the only vote that matters here is the American people's. However, as a journalist, I do feel a responsibility to speak up about the violence surrounding Mr. Trump's rallies. Mr. Trump has long disrespected the electoral process, and his treatment of journalists is no different. He needs to stop calling them out at his rallies, causing them to cry in public and suffer outbreaks of their many ear disorders. And he needs to start answering the vital questions we ask, questions like, "Which viral meme do you must identify with?" Such freedom of the press is necessary for a healthy democracy, Mr. Trump.
I know you previously supported Carly Fiorina for president after an intersectional feminist enlightenment—who are you supporting now?
Right now, I’m waiting in the wings. A lot can happen between now and the conventions, such as Hillary Clinton’s inevitable arrest (I’ve predicted this for 25 consecutive years), the rebirth of Mitt Romney, and a Jim Webb insurgency. A lot of people say journalists shouldn’t vote. Well, our votes are actually worth ten times that of a normal, less informed citizen.
How do you think Scott Walker's eventual endorsement will affect the race?
Scott Walker is a relatable kind of guy. Voters see his complete inability to form a thought, his bumbling, aggressively uninteresting speaking style, and idiocy related bald spot and see themselves. If he comes out for Ted Cruz, he could bring a lot of Joe Six Packs, Moron Mikes, and Doofus Darrens to the table for the previously repulsive Texan.
Any predictions for this weekend?
I haven’t performed my ritual yet (Sanka, an isolation tank, and some Keith Sweat over the Bluetooth speaker) but I will say tentatively things look good for Bernie.
Do you think Bernie will drop out of the race soon?
Bernie has some very favorable (read: white and misogynist) states coming up, but he faces both an insurmountable delegate gap and the possibility of a federal RICO indictment for running a harassment ring that involves millions of cybercriminals.
Who are some pollsters you respect?
I can’t say enough about Frank Luntz. Whether he’s watching The Newsroom completely alone, meandering around a buffet, or awkwardly standing in front of a focus group, he’s the absolute best. My only criticism is I don’t see him enough! Hey Frank, increase your optics in the key Diggler Demographic by grabbing a Michelob with me sometime.
How is your lawsuit with Twitter going?
Very well. The usual trolls responded with sexual taunts and threats when they saw that I had filed, indicating that they’re terrified. Furthermore, the family court judge was absolutely speechless during my elocution, meaning it’s quite possible that it was the greatest legal performance she has ever seen in her lifetime.
Do you think you’ll ever get verified?
Did Christ not get “verified” but after his death? I would love it, but most oracles and prophets are ignored in their time.