MEDIAITE SIREN! Lying Liar Elizabeth Warren Used 'Janitor' And 'Maintenance Man' Interchangeably
Once upon a time, someone thought they caught me in a real big lie. They figured out that sometimes I said my family was in Rhode Island, that I was from Massachusetts, and that, on other occasions, I said I was from Rochester, New York, and that my family was there. So many contradictions, they thought! Clearly, this was proof that I was a pathological liar and a shady character and perhaps even a succubus of some kind. What game did I think I was playing? What kind of suspicious person goes around lying about where they are from all of the time? Someone in Wit-Sec who couldn't keep their story straight, probably.
Except the thing is, people sometimes move. I moved, when I was a teenager, from Massachusetts to Rochester, NY. My immediate family lives there and my entire extended family lives in Rhode Island. I now feel l like I have to explain this to people every time I meet them in order to avoid a whole stupid incident like that again.
It is this incident that was on my mind this weekend as some of the more irritating parts of the internet practically exploded with the news that Elizabeth Warren used to say her father was a maintenance man, but now says he was a janitor, and that this upset her brother for some reason. What will she say next? That he was a custodian?
According to a family friend, David has disagreed with the way Warren calls herself the daughter of a janitor as she describes the work he found after losing a job as a salesman after his heart attack.
"When she called her dad a janitor during the early stages of this, David was furious," said Pamela Winblood, 78, a longtime friend of David who had fallen out with him and supports Warren's presidential bid. "He said, 'My Dad was never a janitor.' I said, 'Well, he was a maintenance man.'?" (In an interview, Warren said she had no idea why that characterization would bother her brother; she has referred to their father as a "maintenance man" in her 2014 autobiography but often as a "janitor" on the campaign trail.)
From the Globe story, Mediaite went off. The issue here is that these critics believe "janitor" sounds more blue collar to some people than maintenance man does, which I don't think is a real thing. I have generally used the words interchangeably. The dictionary and Wikipedia use them interchangeably too. But basically they're trying to suggest that Warren is pretending to be the little match girl daughter of a janitor when in in fact she was the well-heeled daughter of a maintenance man. Oh, the hypocrisy of it all!
Of course, it appears as though Sen. Warren's father had multiple jobs throughout his life, so he very well could have had the title of "janitor" at one point and the title of "maintenance man" at another. Her brother claims that he was a maintenance man who repaired things in people's homes, although I have never in my life heard anyone call someone who does that a "maintenance man." "Repair man/woman" sure, but maintenance man suggests that something is, you know, being maintained.
I have just fallen into the trap of trying to parse any of this, when it's entirely silly.
Those who are outraged by this (or are pretending to be) are even going so far as to share her father's death certificate that states that he was a "flight instructor," which is not only pretty sick, but does not actually prove anything in a world in which people frequently have multiple jobs throughout their lives.
For what it's worth, I could not tell you what the job my father moved us to Rochester for entailed. I know where he worked, what his title was, and I even I worked in his office for an entire summer after I drove my car into the house, but I still could not tell you much about his job other than that contact lenses were involved and that he worked with what seemed like an unusual number of men named "Dick."
This is not about synonyms, of course. This is about picking apart everything Warren says in hopes of portraying her as a hypocrite and a liar. Outlets like Townhall and Redstate are promoting this "scandal" in hopes that if she is the nominee, Trump won't have to worry about her picking off any blue collar voters. Some Democrats are promoting it either to get revenge on her for nefariously stealing voters from their preferred candidate, or in hopes that her voters are so concerned with "purity" and "authenticity" that they will abandon her and vote for one of the more moderate candidates instead. I... don't actually see this happening, but whatever.
All I can say is that it is very stupid and that if I didn't want people to vote for Elizabeth Warren, which is not the case for me, I'd probably spend more time trying to convince people that insurance companies are amazing and benevolent entities that benefit us all and that they don't actually want their student loans to be forgiven. Because I can tell you right now that literally no one is voting for her because she is a perfect human person who says the right thing all of the time, never uses synonyms, and regularly displays the stigmata, they are voting for her because they like what she wants to do.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse