April 17, 2014

"It don't get no better" says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka referring to Elizabeth Warren.

Do you like the rhetorical use of the double negative? I can't get no satisfaction from some rich and powerful guy deploying the old double negative device as a way of seeming close to the working-class folk he represents.

There's much more to say about double negatives. (Check out the Wikipedia article on the topic. Do you know when a double negative is litotes?) What I want to talk about is what Trumka says can't get better. The "it" in "it don't get no better" is not Warren herself. Trumka doesn't commit the offense of referring to a woman as "it."

Trumka is talking about who ought to serve as President of the United States, and his preceding sentence is: "She has a very well defined set of values and unlike many politicians, she actually sticks by those values and fights to implement them." So the "it" that "can't get no better" is the quality of having a very well-defined set of values and sticking by them and fighting to implement them.

At some extreme, we're talking about an ideologue, a person who resists new information and who closes her mind to changing circumstances and practical realities. But the point at which we disqualify a candidate as an ideologue depends on whether we are averse to the particular well-defined set of values that person is sticking by and fighting for.

Is Elizabeth Warren an ideologue? Is Scott Walker?

45 comments:

Xmas said...

Since she's the Senator from my state, I can firmly say that she's an ideologue.

Tank said...

Warren - yes, Scott - no.

Warren is the real deal. She is a person to be very afraid of. Very. A dangerous person to all who love liberty. Not a con man, but a true revolutionary, and not in a good way.

MayBee said...

These are special double negatives, though.

"It don't get better"
"It gets no better", and
"It don't get no better"

All mean the same thing

Illuninati said...

There is nothing like lying about your American Indian ancestry to win the hearts and minds of the Democratic elite. Obviously honesty doesn't count for much in those circles.

Is she an ideologue? I don't know much about her but can imagine she is more of an ideologue than Hilary Clinton.


J Lee said...

Ann, you need to tweak your last paragraph. Unless Liz and Scott just got married (nah ... it wouldn't matter anyway -- she'd keep the same last name).

Warren appears to be the "Not Hillary" candidate for hard liberal Democrats who would still like to play the 'War on Women' card in 2016 against whomever the Republicans nominate, but don't trust Mrs. Clinton not to do to them what her husband did 18 years ago, when he triangulated away from them and to the middle win win re-election in 1996 (putting Bernie Sanders in a dress to play the 'War on Women' card wouldn't be anywhere near as effective).

She's an ideologue, but one whose public edges will be softened in most of the press if she does opt to challenge Hillary starting next year (remember, by the end of the 2008 primary season Team Hillary was saying the news outlet that treated her campaign the fairest in their battle with Team Obama was Fox -- Warren wouldn't get the same level of primary bias, but those who swooned over Obama in 2007-08 would also get at least a bit of a leg thrill for Liz in 2015-16).

RecChief said...

values like claiming a racial heritage that may or may not be true in order to take advantage of a system that offers rewards based on tribal affiliation and not actual achievement?

yes, I imagine Trumka would think that it couldn't get any better than that.

Curious George said...

Ideologue? I thought she was a Cherokee.

Robert Cook said...

Elizabeth Warren is not an idealogue; I do not know enough about Scott Walker to assert an opinion.

tim maguire said...

Elizabeth Warren is an opportunist. The set of values she sticks by is that Elizabeth Warren should be powerful.

Ann Althouse said...

(Thanks to all who pointed out that I'd written "Elizabeth Walker." Fixed.)

MadisonMan said...

Oh, you should have left the typo! It made me laugh.

A Warren/Walker race would be interesting. I would not vote for Warren for President in a million years. Enough with the mendacious Senator candidates. OTOH, Having Walker with an all-Republican Legislature would give me pause. (It would spur the Fourth Estate back into action, though, I guess).

American Liberal Elite said...

I am not unfamiliar with litotes.

rhhardin said...

It isn't a double negative but a replacement of an "any" with a "no."

"Any" is used in non-assertive contexts, chiefly questions and negative statements.

Are you any better?

It doesn't get any better.

Bob Boyd said...

Curious George said...
Ideologue? I thought she was a Cherokee.

She's La Quota Sue

gspencer said...

Your question - Is Elizabeth Warren an ideologue? Is Scott Walker? - only matters based on the ideology. If the ideology in question is collectivism regardless of the variant (communism, nazism, Islam, liberalism, statism and its worship, et alia), then it's admirable you're an ideologue as that will move the world closer to total government.

If on the other hand your intent is to roll back the Leviathan state, well, then, you're fair game for the stockades.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

If you read Warren's work on healthcare bankruptcies, it is clear that she will not allow the truth to stand in the way of advancing her policy preferences.

So yes, she is in ideologue.

Marshal said...

The "it" is the circumstance of having an advocate who will support his interests even when the policy in question is clearly a net negative.

You don't suppose he'd make the same comments for Rand Paul even though his words would clearly apply?

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


Well, she has one important thing in common with Obama.

They both knowingly defrauded the educational system and the taxpayers by claiming statuses and privileges for themselves that they were not eligible for.

Warren - Native-American status
Obama - Foreign Student status

Warren's is well documented, while Obama's is still locked down tighter than the nuclear launch codes.

Those actions should make them ineligible for public office.

virgil xenophon said...

Unless one is a LIV (i.e. either one of the stupids or a dunked up, drugged up college student) one doesn't need a PhD in Poli-Sci to know that Fauxahontas is pure ideologue 24/7/365. All one really needs is the intellectual heft of a certificate of completion from a good welding school to recognize her "primary colors."

Peter said...

Well, just the obvious- if Trumka thinks she can't get no better then I'm inclined to think she can't get no worse. What's to say? Trumka is dangerous to our individual freedoms, and so is Warren.

Double negatives? Well yes, it's phony coming from someone who normally doesn't speak a dialect that uses them.

And finally, we're fortunate in that the assorted American English dialects that have survived are close enough to standard English so they can (still?) be easily understood by a speaker of standard English.

Jim said...

What I hate is when someone who went to Columbia and Harvard law starts droppin' their g's to sound common. I'm a state school boy and I would never do that.

Brando said...

I imagine for hard core progressives Warren is exactly their ideal. No compromises with the right (or center for that matter), a true blue and articulate spokeswoman for the left--and without the Clinton taint. I don't really see any updside for them to back Hillary over Warren.

Warren, however has made it pretty clear she won't run this time around. So the left may have to settle for Hillary, and depending on what the GOP does they may very well make it easier for the left to swallow her.

Robert Cook said...

"Warren is the real deal."

Yes--hooray!

"She is a person to be very afraid of. Very."

Yes, if you're a member of or a lackey to the oligarchy.

"A dangerous person to all who love liberty."

A dangerous person to all who love liberty for the rich and powerful to treat the rest of us like peasants; an inspiring person to all who love liberty for the people.

Marshal said...

I hope Cook is young enough he gets to watch the results of his preferences. Unfortunately life rarely works that way.

Oh well, when it turns out a disaster he'd just claim Warren and heirs weren't the right people to have in charge. It's not like he doesn't already make up whatever he needs to support his fantasies.

Anonymous said...

Well, she's got Robert Cook's endorsement...

persiflage mahal said...

"Elizabeth Warren is an opportunist. The set of values she sticks by is that Elizabeth Warren should be powerful"

A value every Lefty holds in their withered little hearts.

Robert Cook said...

Yes, Warren does have my endorsement...until such time as she may prove herself unworthy of my endorsement.

So far, at least, she offers the best hope of anyone in Congress in marshaling the public support necessary to push back against the parasites (the wealthy and powerful) who are destroying our republic.

Mind you, I don't think she has much chance of accomplishing the necessary degree of push back and reform to turn our collapse into a police state around--especially given that we already are a "soft" police state--but any little bit is to be considered a miracle.

MadisonMan said...

an inspiring person to all who love liberty for the people.

But would she be a good President? Senators almost always aren't good Presidents because they lack Executive experience, and Warren is no different.

What in her background makes you think she'd be a good leader? The fact that you like what she says is not the right answer to that question.

Skeptical Voter said...

Is Fauxcahontas an ideologue?
Is she a Cherokee?

Or is she just a flat out lying careerist of limited talents who rode a phony Indian blanket to success?

cubanbob said...

A dangerous person to all who love liberty for the rich and powerful to treat the rest of us like peasants; an inspiring person to all who love liberty for the people."

Cook's earnest naiviety is so amusing. He really believes a millionaires communist truly has his back.

Gahrie said...

I would not vote for Warren for President in a million years. Enough with the mendacious Senator candidates.

How about you Althouse? Are you going to vote for another liar?

RecChief said...

here is what a UC Berkely student has to say about idealists in Washington

Robert Cook said...

"But would (Warren) be a good President?"

I don't know...I'd hate to see her run and I'd be surprised if she has any such intentions. I'd rather she remain a Senator, or even a non-elected gadfly of the powers that be.

By definition, anyone who attains the Presidency has already sold out, has made it known they will play well with the rich and powerful who own this country, and will follow orders. There is no hope to be had in expecting a new President to come in and fix what's broken; he (or she) is there to insure nothing gets fixed.

RecChief said...

hahahahahahahahaha

"Last week, the union filed a representation petition with the National Labor Relations Board, indicating that the nonprofit media watchdog organization rejected an effort by the union to organize MMFA's staff through a Card Check election."

Anonymous said...

"I aint no ways tired...."

Humperdink said...

Trumka is my second least favorite Nittany Lion. Ranks behind Jerry Sandusky but ahead of Michael Mann.

harkin said...

Think of it this way, which would be more likely to expose union/political corruption, treat everyone fairly, represent all voters and operate with transparency?

No question if you recognize reality.

Robert Cook said...

"Think of it this way, which would be more likely to...etc.,etc.,etc."

Which...what?

mikee said...

As I recall, Doug Piranha of the notorious Piranha Brothers used litotes. And.... satire.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evj24bXakqg&t=3m50s

The Godfather said...

"Ideology" is a tricky concept. YOU have an ideology, I have principles.

But Warren's most famous monologue (good for you, but you didn't build that) is what I would call ideology, and Walker's attacks on public sector union power isn't.

In 1964, my father tried to explain the difference to me. He wasn't specifically talking about Goldwater, but he clearly had that in mind (and knew that I would cast my first presidential vote for Barry). He said that ideologues want a system that covers everything, that answers every question. The world is too complex for that to work.

So after 50 years, I've concluded that Dad was correct about ideology (although not about Goldwater). Perhaps Warren (like Walker) has principles, not just ideology, but I don't see that in her. All I see is the simplistic anti-capitalist, anti-property, anti-entrepreneurial ideology.

Larry Nelson said...

Robert Cook said...
she offers the best hope of anyone in Congress in marshaling the public support necessary to push back against the parasites (the wealthy and powerful) who are destroying our republic.

Mind you, I don't think she has much chance of accomplishing the necessary degree of push back and reform to turn our collapse into a police state around--especially given that we already are a "soft" police state--but any little bit is to be considered a miracle.


If a police state worries you, why would you want to empower bureaucrats and ideologues that would expand the powers of the IRS, an institution already proven to be corrupt (in light of their voluntary apology specific to conservative groups).
A far as the parasites go, wasn't it the most progressive president in our history who bailed out Wall St and took enormous political donations from the same?
Maybe your ideology blinds some of your perceptions?
Ethical and moral bankruptcy permeate both the Whores of Washington DC and the Johns of Walls St.

Unknown said...

Idaeologues are the people who line up the Robert Cooks of the world to carry their banners while parading in front of massed troops with bad intentions, so they will be the first shot when the fighting breaks out and can be lauded as "martyrs to the glorious cause". Lenin called Robert's ilk "useful idiots".

richard mcenroe said...

(It would spur the Fourth Estate back into action, though, I guess).

The Fourth Estate is in full action now. Unfortunately that action consists of shilling and covering up for the sitting Democratic Administration to which it is tied by iron bonds of money, ideology, culture and even matrimony.

Robert Cook said...

"A far as the parasites go, wasn't it the most progressive president in our history who bailed out Wall St and took enormous political donations from the same?"

You think Bush was the most progressive president in our history? Sure, Obama continued the bailout, but he's hardly a progressive in his actions, so his rhetoric is phony, just for show.

Don't assume I am any kind of admirer or supporter of Obama...I'm most emphatically not, and I certainly never voted for him. He's as much a servant of the parasitic rich as anyone in Washington.

Hyphenated American said...

Robert cook is not educated enough to understand that it's better to have voluntary exchange of goods and services with rich people, then being a little screw in the government machine. Voluntary versus compulsory, the distinction is lost on leftists.