Mitt Romney doesn't know how Venn diagrams work

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117 Responses to “Mitt Romney doesn't know how Venn diagrams work”

  1. Shall we just add it to the litany of things Mitt Romney doesn’t understand? Most of them seem to center on how middle-class folk live their lives.

    • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

      If we want a candidate with an understanding of the middle class, we’d better go find a historian…

      • factbased says:

        What makes you think Obama doesn’t understand the middle class?

        • autark says:

           I could be wrong, but I didn’t read that as a dig against Obama (or any candidate), I read it as a subtle way of saying that the middle class is extinct and you’d need a historian to go back far enough to remember what the middle class was…

          Like I said, I could have read that wrong.

          • factbased says:

            Thanks…that makes a certain sort of sense. Though there’s always a middle, no matter how badly they’re doing.

          • blueelm says:

            Actually, factbased, there’s really not always a middle. Class isn’t just about money, it’s about mobility also.

          • Wreckrob8 says:

            No. It is ambiguous. I read it the other way.
            To understand the middle classes and middle class values you need an historian to understand their origins and concerns.
            They are very much still here ( but could do with a lesson in class consciousness to rediscover their proletarian roots in my opinion).

    • EH says:

      He understands, he’s just trying to hide his answers behind bullshit, and bullshit is what people talk about. He benefits more when people focus on the bullshit rather than his (lack of) answers. Again: he’s hiding.

    • rtb61 says:

       Let’s be honest Mitt Romney’s target audience have no idea how not much of anything works, it’s all rah rah politics and hate.
      Hate immigrants, hate intellectuals, hate atheists, hate sexual independent people and hate the truth.
      When it comes to Romney’s target audience if you know how a venn diagram actually works, they are bound to hate you.

      • EH says:

        All of us are subject to the information we receive. A big reason why “Mitt Romney’s target audience” has no idea is because people like Mitt Romney aren’t telling them. 

        In fact, you could turn this around and say that Mitt Romney’s target audience are people who are OK not having any idea. I would even go so far as to say that the US political culture (on all sides) is oriented around expanding the proportion of people who are OK not knowing details. Call it political marketing: expanding their preferred customer base of ignoramuses. You see this with Obama rejecting the desires of the Left, for instance.

  2. Mark_Frauenfelder says:

    “So long John Venn [smiley emoticon] You are a total sell out to this great nation. You are a communist piece of garbage and you will not be missed.” — Truthbeliever3

  3. Upworthy had a great piece on this digging at the Romster with some proper venn diagrams:

    http://www.upworthy.com/youd-think-122-million-would-buy-you-a-better-campaign-than-this

  4. retchdog says:

    they’re just overlapping circles. sure, that usually means venn diagram, but not necessarily.

    anyway, i don’t see why it can’t be interpreted as a venn diagram. the left circle is “what Obama promised,” the right circle is “what really happened.” in the intersection (where both hold), is the gap between the two. the gap doesn’t make sense unless you accept both premises.

    it’s a venn diagram with extra annotation.

    edit: don’t like romney, but when are liberals going to learn that this nitpicky shallow pseudo-intellectualism is a counterproductive wank session?

    • Lilah says:

       Here’s why it can’t be interpreted as a Venn diagram: The center of the Venn diagram cannot contain the whole sum of the two circles unless one circle is superimposed on top of the other. The incomplete overlap of a Venn diagram represents part of each set is shared and part is not.

      • Guest says:

        I think everyone here gets it. the point is, quibbling over these kinds of things is not just a distraction from issues that matter, but it discredits the quibblers as petty, small minded nerds. focus your energies and talents on the big picture. mitt romney and the people who seek to have him elected are neo feudalists who want to roll back everything that was gained by the democratic revolutions brought about by the humanist enlightenment, three hundred years ago. the fact that his campaign doesnt know how a venn diagram works should be the least of our worries.

        • Ender Wiggin says:

          @retchdog no matter how quickly you wave your hands, that’s still nonsense.  I hope you know that it’s nonsense, i suspect that you dont. @sosghost, this isn’t a political debate, it’s a nerd blog. did you click the wrong link?

          • But Demosthenes agrees with him!

          • Guest says:

            a- i’ve been commenting on this blog since they allowed comments, and was reading it and wanting to comment on it for long before that. boingboing quite often posts on political topics. are you new here?

            2) as much as i love arguing over venn diagrams and the like, in this case it’s a waste of time and smart people who are easily distracted do need to be reminded sometimes to stay focused on more important things.

            fourth, it’s SPsGhost, not sosghost. learn to read better.

          • retchdog says:

            nonsense? yes, i think romney’s argument is nonsense, if that’s what you meant.

            but if you mean it’s not interpretable as a venn diagram, please refute my detailed claim substantially.

          • Palomino says:

            I’ve had wet dreams about Ender’s Game “responsibly unbutchered” coming to a theater near me. 

            I just had an orgasm: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1731141/

            See that shit? Harrison Ford, how appropriate is that? 

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Abigail Breslin is in it. That cancels out any possible goodness.

          • Anton Sirius says:

            ” …in this case it’s a waste of time and smart people who are easily distracted do need to be reminded sometimes to stay focused on more important things.”

            Yes, because taking thirty seconds to laugh at a conspicuous, if somewhat esoteric, error by the Romney campaign invalidates anything you might do or have done to support Obama, ever.

            Your concern is duly noted, SPsGhost.

          • Mr Ghost has made it quite clear that we’re not allowed to poke fun at mitt Romney for not understanding Venn diagrams, as it makes us dirty petty liberals. It flatly sends the wrong message; that we care as much about clear communication and accuracy in politics as we do about policy, shame on you small minded nerd.

      • retchdog says:

        what are you talking about? consider:

        1. in an alternate universe, Obama could have promised something different. 
        2. as of today, health insurance premia have increased by $2,393. in an alternate universe, they might not have.

        our universe falls in the intersection (=AND) of the two (taking these claims for granted, of course), thus our world is within the black part.

        since venn diagrams are logical constructions (and thus exist independent of truth value), they may contain counterfactuals. if you admit counterfactuals, the circles don’t need to coincide.

      • Jim Cline says:

        http://www.butte.edu/~wmwu/iLogic/2.2/iLogic_2_2.html

        The Romney Venn diagram, sure looks like a valid Contrary Relationship Venn Diagram, the black/dark area is the “void” or “gap” between the relationship of the “Promise” and the “Result” sets.

    • adamrice says:

      AND != XOR

    • joshhaglund says:

      Your comment goes from “they’re just overlapping circles” to “it’s a venn diagram that needs annotation” very quickly.

      I think it just doesn’t make sense.  It’s trying to look science-y and smart, using the imagery of intelligence (or what people think intelligence looks like).  Like a flow chart with out-of-order processes, this appeals to people who don’t understand things.

      Re: this being a “shallow pseudo-intellectualism is a counterproductive wank session”  So?  If candidates offered ideas instead of paternal pandering and attack ads, we could debate those.

      • Cowicide says:

        this appeals to people who don’t understand things.

        Oh lawd, if he continues to narrow that down in his campaign, he’ll definitely win.

      • retchdog says:

        only to people who don’t understand logic and rhetoric. let me break it down a bit.

        A: it’s not necessarily supposed to be a venn diagram. i believe this is true on its own.
        B: even IF it were, it’s not as faulty as people think. i didn’t say it NEEDS annotation; i said it HAS annotation. the $numbers on it ARE the annotation.
        here is a simpler example of such an annotated venn diagram:

        left circle: if i have a pre-existing condition, my insurance costs X times as much.
        right circle: if i smoke, my insurance costs Y times as much.
        intersection: my insurance costs Z times as much (if i both smoke and have a pre-existing condition). [so unless there isn't a special case for having both, Z=X*Y]

        see? the numbers X,Y,Z are annotation; they put EXTRA facts onto a venn diagram.

        as far as wank session goes, damned straight it’s a wank session. consider these two arguments:

        1. HURR, it’s not really a venn diagram. you republicans are so stupid! [one notes how incredibly unsuccessful this was in dethroning Bush]
        2. this claim completely ignores the near-revolutionary PPACA, and rampant republican obstructionism.

        do you see a difference? (2) is productive; (1) is not.

        • joshhaglund says:

          Can’t we just agree that it’s a poor visualization and laugh at it?

          While I agree with the statements “Obamacare is actually good” (edit:tho not good enough!) and “Republicans are being obstructionist” I don’t think they are very good at convincing people that Republicans and Romney have nothing to offer them.  Condescending pedantry, of the sort above, seems to me a more endemic sort of wanking.

          I don’t think anyone needs to apologize for having silly comments about silly political propaganda on a site called boing boing.

          • retchdog says:

            look goddammit, i’m not doing this to be a smartass. this shallow liberal condescension hurts all of us.

             just think about the republican rhetoric; a fake crawford, tx cowboy sneering at the latte-sipping elitists. an image carefully doctored to become stronger with every effete criticism. total judo.

            we need to hit these guys in their policy, not their image. they want the opposition to attack their image; they’ve planned for it and enjoy every moment.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            I don’t want to shock you, but Boing Boing is not a political action committee; it’s a blog. This post is for entertainment purposes only. Most of our readers (many of whom do not live in the US) are far more interested in Venn diagrams than they are in Mittens’ campaign.

        • ikegently says:

           Isn’t the intersection of the promise and the results where what was promised was achieved? Basically, the opposite of the gap this diagram is trying to illustrate?

  5. timeblind says:

    if his target audience were nerdy liberals then this criticism would be valid. his target is the dull minded, and they find your venn diagrams annoying and they make them feel dumb. people do not like to be told that they are dumb. so heres one and it says yeah obama is wrong and that makes them feel happy. did they arrive at this conclusion through nerdy lucubration ? no, stupid nerdy liberals. if you want democravy to srvive then

    • I agree that he most likely understands them he just (a) doesn’t care and (b) is speaking to people who don’t understand and don’t care.  Which is about 70% of Americans.  

      Uneducated in America?  Thank Reagan for destroying your school system.  

  6. It’s not REALLY nitpicky to point out it’s a confusing graphic!  If you want to illustrate a gap, use a gap, not a point where items merge.

    It just could have had far better design choices to effectively communicate visually as well.

  7. Mark McC says:

    Venn diagrams are the preserve of the nerdy liberals now? Things have changed since I learned about them in grade school. What’s going to be relegated next? Those damned liberals, with their high-fallutin’ addition and subtraction?

    No wait, addition and subtraction are much more cerebral concepts than a visual intersection of two things. Honestly, give a 4-year old a crayon and ask them to draw 2 things with a gap between them. They won’t end up drawing two overlapping things with no gap.

  8. Preston Sturges says:

    This needs work…..

    (People who want to use Venn diagrams   
    (People who want to use Venn diagrams and can’t        
    (People who use Venn Diagrams wrong))    
    (People who want to use Venn diagrams and can          
    ((( People who use Venn diagrams)))       
    (People who don’t want to use Venn diagrams but do     
    (People who don’t want to use Venn diagrams and don’t)(People who don’t want to use Venn diagrams

  9. Romana_Clef says:

    The only way the diagram could be made any better is if someone shopped some goatse hands in around the “gap”.

  10. Teufelaffe says:

    Fun fact: most diagrams that people refer to as “Venn Diagrams” are in fact Euler Diagrams.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euler_diagram
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venn_diagram

    • Well, given that Venn Diagrams are in fact a specialized case of Euler diagrams, what you are saying is by definition true.  However, that doesn’t stop them from being Venn diagrams as well.

      • joshhaglund says:

        Then which diagram should we pick to illustrate the relative uses between the two diagram styles?

      • Deidzoeb says:

        I think Teufelaffe means to say that most diagrams that people refer to as Venn Diagrams are *only* Euler diagrams, not actually Venn. For example, this one I saw earlier today: 
        http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/07/venn-all-else-fails.html

        In most of the popular jokey diagrams that are labelled Venn, there are some incomplete sets. For example, this one shows an overlap between the sets of ppl whose ideas wreak havoc on the economy, and ppl hiding from their dark and mysterious past. Romney and The Joker are shown in the overlap of those two sets. Ha ha.

        If I understand the definition correctly, a Venn diagram should include all possible members or subsets of those. If anyone else exists who fits into that overlapping area (for example, Tyler Durden from Fight Club? Ra’s al Ghul? V from “V for Vendetta”?), then it’s incomplete and wouldn’t count as a Venn diagram, but might still count as a Euler. Or would it be an incomplete Euler too?

        • subhan says:

          That example actually is a Venn diagram – as schematic diagrams, labeling of exemplars of the categories is fine, but not a requirement.  

  11.  Mitt Romney is depending on the “low information voter” to win the election.  The “low information voter” does not know how a Venn diagram is supposed to work.  These diagrams are aimed at “low information voters”.  There is not a problem here.

    • Marc Mielke says:

      I don’t think ‘stupid’ should be a special interest group, no matter how many of them there are. 

      • I would argue that’s it’s the majority, rather than a special interest group. If you want to be president there’s not much point in chasing a single minority.

        People are stupid. Republicans not only know that, they rely on it.

    • Gyrofrog says:

       I thought that what all candidates really depend on is overloading the populace to the point where they get burned out and do not vote.

  12. Laugh all you want, this image will carry a lot of weight with the average republican or on-the-fence voter.  While logically incorrect, it strikes a visceral and intuitive chord.

  13. Mark says:

    What are the odds that anybody connected with the campaign is even aware of the existence of Venn diagrams? When there’s more than one possible interpretation, long experience suggests we should favor the one that implies the greater degree of ignorance.

  14. jimh says:

    “… by the end of my first term in office, unless I am completely cockblocked by the insurance lobby and the political opposition so that my bill eventually becomes a watered-down giveaway to corporate health care.”  Fixed.

    I didn’t chuckle at the poor info-graphic, I chuckled at the very people who stood against single-payer health care holding Obama to a promise that they MADE SURE he couldn’t keep.

    We’re not being let down by the man who promised lower premiums under his plan and fell short, we’re being wrung out by the health insurance industry and their cronies. But people will believe this colossal misdirection, because there’s a billion dollars worth of repetition (and bad graphics) coming.

    • bcsizemo says:

      I never heard Obama make that a talking point…

      I mean he is the president of the US with his own private healthcare…if he points out that insurance companies are causing X, Y, Z problems it’s not like they are going to drop his coverage.

      • jimh says:

        Make what a talking point? What… are you trying to say?

      • I think a main problem in all these things is that it’s a politically and rhetorically bad idea to say “yeah, I wnated to do it right, but you didn’t let me so it’s your fault it wen downhill” — even though it’d be correct, because it means admitting defeat. He tried to make a sensible law and failed because the others didn’t let him. That still means he failed, thus makes him look bad.
        This is assuming the original plan was indeed sensible. And for me it’d not be a reason to vote for the guys who made him fail (assuming the current version is as bad as the opposition says it was). But still looking like you lost is not an option in a campagin.

        Disclaimer: I’m just following the political debate from across the ocean and have little knowledge of all the small details. This is a general thing: if you start a law, and it gets completely spoiled by the opposition, you can’t blame them because it’d make you look incompetent. Even if that’s what really happened (which I suspect in this case.

        Question: Are the numbers in that graphics actually correct, or is there some statistical black magic going on?

        • Funk Daddy says:

          The black magic is how in any discussion Mittens and his side of things conveniently refuse to address how millions of citizens and residents of the USA go without any access to preventative care and limited access to acute care which results in massive personal debt.

          However, both insurers and health care profiteers are quick to point out that one of the reasons they claim for un-affordably high premiums for the middle class is how many people do not (cannot) pay for the acute care they receive in emergency rooms/hospitals.

          They essentially admit that the reason many go without and many go broke for insurance, nevermind treatment, is that the system they desire and have denies the basics of healthcare to even those who can afford it, because of those who can’t, because of the system they (insurers & providers) profit from by making health care scary expensive for the middle class. They point fingers in all directions in being the culprits.

          • The question then is:
            If indeed there is more money paid for health care) within the US (I trust the figures are the sum of taxes, private, public insurance and private medical bills) — is there also more health care going on (I’ expect so), and in what relation is the increased spending to the increased number of people being treated?
            As someone growing up with a strong health care system, I am amazed that in another state that’s supposedly richer than mine, someone can even say that not everyone should be cared for and get away with it. Do you hate poor people? At the same time, I also know there are a hell of a lot of things that can go wrong with public health care, and around here, no politician wants to deal with it, because there just is no “right” way to do it.
            In that context: My hat’s off to Barrack Obama for even starting on this endeavour. And also: There are quite possible many things wrong with how the system works right now, and I’ll never know if that was Obamas fault or just the opposition twisting the law into a mess before passing it. But I still think it’s better then leaving poor people with chronic deseases to die or depend on other’s charity.

          • Funk Daddy says:

            I see no evidence of a rise in premiums reflecting more treatment being sough or received by those paying the premiums. Where do you see it?

        • Warren Dew says:

          The numbers are correct.

  15. Their feldspars says:

    It’s either a Venn diagram, or a MasterCard logo.

  16. clarkie604 says:

    OK. It looks like a Venn Diagram, but it’s not. Big deal. That doesn’t mean it isn’t an effective or even an accurate message (to the low-information voter or otherwise). It’s easy to criticize the format, but it’s hard to respond to the clear point that President Obama promised decreased health care costs, but health care costs are actually higher now. That is a much more interesting (although more difficult) debate.

    • jimh says:

      He promised lower health care costs, assuming that he had the cooperation of lawmakers in the process. Perhaps he was foolish to underestimate the power of the health insurance lobby, or that congress would actually work together for health care reform. But while the Republicans holding him to a campaign promise that they made it their mission to prevent him from delivering is certainly clever politics, it’s not interesting or difficult to debate.

      What’s interesting is that people BUY this line of BS, as if everyone did everything they could to help the President lower our premiums, but he just…  failed anyway.

      • Walter Reade says:

        Do we want someone in office that can only get things done if everyone cooperates? The two party system ENSURES a lack of cooperation.

      • hab says:

        Underestimate? You know how hard the insurance industry pushed for this “reform?” What corporation wouldn’t kill for a federal law that requires that you buy their product?

        Also, I heard Romney use substandard grammar in a speech once. I had a good chuckle.

      • clarkie604 says:

        Here’s the thing though. A significant health care law was passed. And health care costs have increased, presumably because of the health care law. President Obama and the Democrats didn’t get exactly what they wanted but they got a compromise — which is the way our system always tends to work. Anybody could have predicted comprimize would be required. Now health care costs are higher. President Obama should have to explain.

  17. BrianP says:

    I’m by no means  an expert on health care, but isn’t it the case that most of Obama’s health care changes have yet to roll out yet?

  18. mrwittier says:

    As a designer who works in advertising, I’d say the primary flaw is that the visual representation of savings (dollar sign with downward arrow) is represented in blue, with the words “President Obama*” featured prominently, and the representation of inflated pricing is represented by a red field.

    Flawed in the sense of the intended message, not in terms of reality.

    Followed closely by that snarl of wordy text and graphics at the top, which seems to include an empty podium with two Russian nesting dolls perched atop it. Again, not great symbolism.

    Finally, Romney’s iconic “R” seems to be a dimensional character that’s rotated toward the left. Located underwater in this instance.

    Time for a new agency.

    *At least it’s polite: “President Obama,” not just “Obama,” or “Barack HUSSEIN Obama,” as is more typical.

  19. fnc says:

    Logic diagrams, how the fuck do they work?

  20. timquinn says:

    What I see there is a diagram that says; hey Obama said he would try to deal with health care, but since we did everything in our power to screw it up your premium went up another $2500 in the last four years. So vote for a Republican, because we will continue to screw things up if you don’t.

  21. redesigned says:

    i love how republicans like to point out things the democrats tried to implement but failed, especially when the republicans cock-blocking is the primary reason they failed.  like school yard bullies knocking cookies out of kids hands then calling them cookie droppers who can’t be trusted to hold onto cookies.  bizarre logic but still funny as hell to watch them do it. it would be even more funny if it wasn’t so sad, and yes i know the same happens from time to time in the reverse direction, just not nearly as often.

  22. Walter Reade says:

    Argue about the graphic all you want. This was forwarded to me by a friend at MTU:  “the new Federal Healthcare Reform law requires that the Michigan Tech student insurance plans provide additional essential benefits…These new requirements have also resulted in higher premiums”

    • mrwittier says:

      Given that the vast majority of Americans are Michigan Tech Students, this is indeed troubling.
      Anyone else have a singular friend with similar horror stories?

    • Preston Sturges says:

      And that has nothing to do with the Michigan’s education slashing Tea Party governor does it? 

    • creesto says:

       Ohs Noez, ” additional essential benefits”?! Teh basturds!! And “higher premiums” sounds super scary too! Like it might be $15 a month….or $15 Millionz!! It would seem clear that you tend to be right-leaning…

    • Avram Grumer says:

      If the benefits are essential, why weren’t they being provided before? 

  23. That_Anonymous_Coward says:

    Your all haters… these are the truthy Venn Diagrams we use in Amercia!

  24. timquinn says:

    Blah blah blah. I have news for anyone here defending the status quo in the form of Republican do nothing behavior. You are being used. You are being lied to. 

    I don’t understand how you can’t see this. It is the defining characteristic of our moment.

    OK, now I feel better. Someone had to tell you. 

  25. Birko says:

    A Venn boson went into a church…

  26. The issue here is not how Venn diagrams work, but rather what caused these Venn diagram to be created in the first place.   http://imgur.com/yHy1q

  27. Thorzdad says:

    It doesn’t really matter if the Romney graphics are legitimate Venn diagrams or not. Honestly, I don’t think they were ever intended to function as Venns. Venns are eye-catching in their own right and work quite well as focusing agents, drawing attention to whatever information you want to put before the audience.

    The other 90% of the public aren’t going to worry whether these are legitimate Venns. Frankly, most people probably don’t even know the name “Venn”. What they will do is read the text, and that’s all the Romney campaign wants. Mission accomplished.

    Attacking these diagrams from the nerd-ish point of whether they are really Venns only serves to distract legitimate criticism of the actual message in favor of criticizing the medium.

    • Peter says:

       Yeah, while it’s fun, if you look at it from the perspective of somebody who doesn’t already agree with you, it probably looks to them like you’re distracting with silly quibbles because you can’t answer the point. 

      It’s like if Romney released an ad saying “Conclusive proof that President Obamas policies have worsened the country”, and a lot of facts and figures, and you see democrats are responding to it with “Look, lol, he forgot the apostrophe!  Or does he think there are multiple President Obamas? What an idiot!”  Even if the argument they’re making is complete bull$@!$, you look bad to people not on your side if you only target the ultimately inconsequential issue and not the argument.  

  28. TheDaleks says:

    I have to assume that most of Romney’s supporters don’t understand how Venn diagrams are supposed to work, either. Heck, most of them probably think the Earth is flat and sits on the back of a turtle at the center of the universe, because science is evil heresy among the right wing. So the nuances of a poorly-done diagram will be lost on them.

  29. cdh1971 says:

    Of course Romney understands Venn diagrams.

    Romney is a weasel and a bastard,and Bill Gates, his No. 1, yet oh so secret and cynical supporter is just as evil. 

    Yes, Bill Gates – his foundation is a sham and his mentor, what’s his name  - Buffet, can’t change him, Gates will bite Buffets arse too. Sacks of shit such as Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, et al exist in an ugly symbiosis with other sacks of shit such as Mitt Romney, the Bushes, Kochs and the rest.

    Off with their heads, well actually hang ‘em high, choke the breath from ‘em.

  30. BadIdeaSociety says:

    This makes perfect sense to me. The republicans want their constituents to believe that they are trying their best to work with the democrats, but we all know they have no intention of joining in the middle with the democrats on anything. Thus a Venn diagram that appears to join in the middle, but doesn’t on any significant level.

  31. Jim Moskowitz says:

    Mitt Romney knows how viral marketing campaigns work.

    How many thousands of people have now read the talking point his campaign wanted to get across, because they were so eager to mock the form of his ad that they happily consumed the content? I can’t claim to know that their ‘mistake’ was actually intentional, but I look at sites like Boingboing helping Romney spread his meme and wonder if he’s crazy like a Fox…

  32. Preston Sturges says:

    As an MBA, Mitt would probably use one of those endless 2×2 grids managers like where one axis would be labeled “patriotism” and the other would be “tax cuts”

  33. Larry says:

    Yeah, this is a crushing blow to Romney’s hopes.  I’ll bet the first thing all those voters will think when they see this is “Stupid Romney, he doesn’t even understand Venn diagrams.  Can’t vote for that feeb.” 

  34. Nathaniel Whitestone says:

    Whether or not this is intended to function as a Venn diagram, the real rhetorical power of the piece lies in the choice of colors.  In American presidential politics, three colors are commonplace: red, white and blue.  The diagram uses three colors: red, black and blue.  The gap is black.  The numbers do not matter for most people who are flipping past this.  Most people do not know the numbers and do not take the time to learn them.  Most people will see the headline, the colors, and somewhere inside they will think “that shouldn’t be black, it should be white”.  For those among us that are racists (and most people can be primed to think in racist ways, regardless of their own racial identity — plenty of studies using tachistoscopic word sorting show this), this will add unconscious weight to the claim of “Obama broke his promise”.

    Republican PR masters are very good at shaping sub-conscious communications.  Democrats are very good at the literal stuff.  Guess which is more effective?

    I say all this as an Independent who tends to vote Democrat on a “lesser evil” basis.  

  35. Alice V says:

    Well, the Venn diagram does work–as a distraction!  Everyone commenting on the flawed diagram is failing to focus on the BS of cooked figures–but not the intended audience who will imbed them in their easily fertilized brains.  Ergo, this is a successful piece of crap.

  36. BombBlastLightingWaltz says:

    This is Change You Can Believe In. It happened. You have to believe it. Nice catch phrase. 

  37. mrwittier says:

    Look seven comments upward.

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