Fun with Republicans: Yuri Hertzberg’s Party Picker

Electoral College 2008
Electoral College 2008

Fun with Republicans: Yuri Hertzberg’s Party Picker

Having trouble talking sense to your Republican neighbors and friends? Have no fear, Yuri is here.

Yuri Hertzberg of the San Fransisco Chronicle was fed up trying to talk about the facts behind the issues with his conservative friends, so he came up with a rather ingenious way of forcing an open mind. The trick is making an analogy to purchasing something innocuous like dish soap and then secondly, hiding the party names and just presenting the record.

You know the old deal: you’re at a family dinner and the Republican Fox watcher starts in on you about Obama and socialism. You try talking sense and eventually you give way to rage, and mention that red states are welfare states so who’s redistributing the wealth?

Scatterplot posted about this on their blog:

“With one exception, Red states gain big (I divide states by how they voted for Obama; not a great metric, but not a terrible one)… What we basically see is that only one Red State pays in more than its share (Texas). Clearly, as Begala jests, Red States are big welfare states. Now I don’t object to this, because they happen to be poorer states. And I believe in wealth redistribution. But why do states that have a net gain from the Federal government vote against a party that wants to continue to support then, and why do states that lose out in the deal continue to support a party that wants to take money away from their local communities?” and then happily linked to the Tax Foundation proof.

Now, you and I both know that when Scatterplot goes to show this to his Republican friends, they’re going to come back with how liberals are lounging around on welfare, so we should shut up. In other words, no good will come of these facts, regardless of how well presented they are.

I feel your pain, Scattershot. And apparently, so did Yuri. Clever Yuri.

Yuri says, “First, I asked my friends how they would go about choosing a new dishwasher. We agreed that the responsible and rewarding method would be to ignore any marketing hype and instead follow the Best Buy recommendations by Consumer Reports. Because nobody mentioned the virtues or shortcomings of, say, Whirlpool’s executives as a valid criterion for choosing the appliance, I asked why they argue for hours about the perceived personalities of the candidates instead of comparing the track records of the major parties.”

So, that would be a no-go to listening to Republicans talk about how they are going to lower taxes for small business when in fact, they are doing no such thing but are actually voting against the President’s small business bill.

He then compared all administrations going back to 1960 and all states based on how they voted in the presidential elections since 1980. Oh, heavens, this is just brutal.

He used symbols to over come bias. Here’s Yuri’s list for voting on the economy:


Jobs: Since 1960, each of the A Party administrations has delivered higher rates of jobs creation than any of the B Party administrations.
Deficit: Since 1960, the deficit each of the A Party administrations has passed to its successor was lower than the one it inherited, while each of the B Party administrations has increased the deficit. The average yearly deficit under the B Party administrations was 277 percent higher than the average deficit under the A Party.
Productivity: The gross state product of the 20 states that voted for the A Party candidate at least 5 times out of the last 8 elections (let’s call them the A states) is 15 percent higher than the other states (the B states).
Household income: The median household income in the A states is 16 percent higher than in the B states.
Poverty: The percentage of persons below the poverty level in the A states is 21 percent lower than in the B states.
Health insurance: The percentage of people without health insurance in the A states is 25 percent lower than in the B states.

Advantage: Party A

This is probably as good of a time as any to tell you that Party A is the Democratic Party. Yuri also has this same test set up for issues regarding Family Values, which I urge you all to check out.

25 Replies to “Fun with Republicans: Yuri Hertzberg’s Party Picker”

  1. It makes way too much sense. The neanderthals I have to deal with think Consumer Reports is a communist tool. Facts, truth and reality are never in play with teabagging types.

  2. I forgot to mention that there are way too many words in that article for the neanderthals to read it all the way through

  3. Some of the “facts” in this article aren’t even true. Funny how you have to lie in order to win an argument against Republicans.

    The rest of it tries to correlate things that have nothing to do with each other. There are democrats in the “B” states. Why not tell us how many democrats and republicans are using welfare? Why not tell us which policies are actually causing the poverty in those states? Did you consider that the people who are in need (poverty) know that Republican policies will actually help them better their lives?

    This is not how you do politics. Your side isn’t always right. The other side isn’t always wrong. Focus on the policies, not on winning a non-existent contest.

  4. Please break it down per his explanation re the states and be specific about what is inaccurate.

    Your nod to liberals on welfare was called in the article, so you have to admit that part is accurate.

    Food stamps are most used in red states, as well as red states leading in teen pregnancy and online porn. Red states are also the welfare states the rest of us fund. Please provide data if you are going to suggest these things are not accurate. Fox News, Breitbart, Alex Jones and WND not acceptable sources for obvious reasons.

  5. I think we have seen the last of Berto, I refer to Hraf’s last article about arguments. Berto likes voting against the middle class at every turn

  6. As a voluntaryist (very hard core libertarian, wiki it :P) I have the same exact problem with liberals as well — refusing to listen to, or comprehend hard facts, and simply arguing from emotion.

    Also, all this comparative method does is further perpetuate the logic that our political system really revolves around — false choice.

    It is truly amazing to me that people fall for the crap that politicians of either party say. If you familiarize yourself with basic logical fallacies, you will never be able to watch another political “debate” again.

  7. Good game at mentioning “Facts, Truth, Reality” and then simply calling people names and making ridiculous claims regarding their ability to read.

    This is the biggest problem I have with what seems to be the “main stream liberal”. They simply demonize, and have hardly any substance to any of their “arguments”, and then make vast assumptions. For example, based on this post, many would assume I am a conservative.

  8. Interesting article, But the qeustion raised, Why do red states vote against themselves is not entirely true. Many states that are red or blue are often split by margins less than 5-10 percent, yes there are some exceptions to this on both sides, however there are many left leaning voters in red states who vote for democratic economic reforms and vice versa in blue states. Berto is correct to assert policies are more important than political affiliation. I did a statistics analyses project on the state of montana and it’s voter registration vs income. Typically speaking those making less than 20,000 a year were 75% democrats and those making between 20,000-30,000 were 60% republican and those making above 30,000 were split about 51% republican to 49% democrat. Now this was a sample of 500 voters from all over the state. As you can see those that would benefit most from welfare reform policies such as food stamps were more likely to vote for it. As you can see the left vs right debate on economic policies isn’t so black and white. I’m open for discussion so feel free to comment :)

  9. Hmmm…there is a flaw in the metrics used here. Comparing Job creation during to deficits inherited implies that periods of Job creation cannot be inherited and that conditions leading to a deficit can not be inherited. Its not an apples to apples comparison but rather a slight of hand game with numbers. Furthermore the red states shown here, as a rule, have lower populations than the blue states, no access to ports (except TX and AK) ie. there is nothing there but cattle, grass, desert and yucca trees, of course the state product is lower. What you call welfare states, when combined had fewer welfare recipients than California (not counting food stamps, which blue states were still significantly higher in) and with a few exceptions Red states had a lower per capita use of the welfare system. There are a ton of things Republicans can be found fault with but your joke fails if someone actually knows their statistics….but hey dont let facts get in the way of a good joke.

  10. This is a very sweeping generalization. Those states may go to a Republican or Democrat candidate, but that doesn’t mean every voter in the state was Republican or Democrat. Perhaps the states you have listed here as going to the Republican camp vote that way because the other 30% to 40% of the population in their respective state are Democrat and they see all the welfare money going to these voters and so they wish to vote Republican because they are upset at that.

  11. Actually, all this proves is that most of these red states have more voting republicans than voting democrats. I can tell you first hand living in one of these red states that the republicans are the higher income earners and they vote. The lower income earners are typically democrat and do not vote. Therefore the state is labeled “red” when in fact there are more democrats than republicans. Basically, these lower income democrats are the ones that bitch about the government but are either
    A. too lazy to vote
    B. too lazy to vote
    Your whole article is akin to the “families that eat dinner together are more likely to have children that do not smoke pot” campaign. It has nothing to do with the dinner and everything to do with the family.

  12. Id love to know where you get your data. The last stats I can find has blue states with not only higher % per capita in welfare use but California had more total welfare recipients than all red states combined. There were 2 red states with more than a million people on food stamps while blue states had 7 over a million. (that info is from the NY Times)

    Your implication is that because the state votes Red that its all Republicans receiving benefits when you and I know its probably evenly split.

  13. Another problem – links to data sources. There don’t seem to be any for the data in the source article. Personally, I tend not to trust data unless it can be confirmed via the original source as unbiased and reliable, and being able to examine the methodologies used to gather the data. Both sides are quite adept at using sources that support their claims, without showing how sound the data is.

    Nate Silver and Fact Check do a pretty good job of producing reliable info. Rush Limbaugh or Huffington Post…. not so much.

  14. Sorry, as an evolutionary biologist, I must point out the fact that neanderthals were very intelligent hominids and should not be compared with the likes of Republicants.

  15. First stat is BS. Job growth was negative during the Carter administration … positive in several Republican administrations.

    No I’m not a Republican. I bet the second one is wrong too. And if you guys want to sit on a pedestal and judge Republicans for believing false numbers you should probably not distort your data.

  16. “Did you consider that the people who are in need (poverty) know that Republican policies will actually help them better their lives?”

    If that’s true, why are they still poor after all these decades?

  17. Perhaps Yuri should consider these facts (complete with details):
    Top 10 Cities (250,000 or more population) with the Highest Poverty Rate (% below poverty lvl)

    1. Detroit, MI 32.5% Has had Dem Mayor since 1962
    (last 48 yrs)
    2. Buffalo, NY 29.9% Has had Dem Mayor since 1966
    (last 44 yrs)
    3. Cincinnati, OH 27.8% Has had Dem Mayor since 1951
    (last 59 yrs)
    4. Cleveland, OH 27.0% Has had Dem Mayor since 1990
    (last 20 yrs and 52 of the last 68 yrs)
    5. Miami, FL 26.9% Has never had a Mayor from Rep party
    5. St. Louis, MO 26.8% Has had Dem Mayor since 1950
    (last 60 yrs).
    7. El Paso, TX 26.4% Has never had a Mayor from Rep party
    8. Milwaukee, WI 26.2% No Repub Mayor since 1908
    (last 102 yrs)
    9. Philadelphia, PA 25.1% Has had Dem Mayor since 1952
    (last 58 yrs)
    10. Newark, NJ 24.2% Has had Dem Mayor since 1908
    (last 58 yrs)

  18. all i have to say to you people is, thank you for sending our nation into utter poverty. this will result in the destruction of our nation because of you voting the way you do.

  19. Actually, you’re the one who has to provide sources for your claims. I don’t see a single one in your “article.”

    My claim was that it isn’t necessarily the Republicans in red states that are using welfare or food stamps or teen pregnancy or online porn. You’re talking about 45/55 divides here. There are other factors that contribute to these trends.

    Also, hi Shiva. I’m here. Do you see me? And where did the middle class come into any of this? I’m middle class.

  20. One of your linked articles (which is not a source) says “Per Federal Tax Dollar Paid, How Many do states get back?”

    Notice that that’s “per federal tax dollar paid.”

    Certainly the poorer states get more back *per dollar paid,* right? It has nothing to do with red or blue.

  21. Shhh! but those numbers don’t agree with Sarah Jones!

    But seriously, it makes much more sense to talk about specific cities than it does to talk about states. States have a lot of people in them, and aren’t nearly as diverse as most cities. What does a “red state” with a 51% to 49% majority prove about Republicans? Nothing at all.

    Cherry pick your numbers, Sarah. That’s the only way you can win this argument.

  22. How can you include Obama to the same party as Clinton, Carter, Johnson, Truman and Kennedy? Obama is a embarrassment to the Democratic party; it will take years for us to recover.

    Who would ever think that Obama is doing anything better than President Clinton? Name a single thing that you think Obama did better than Clinton…yea try.

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