Our Politics

Is the FM website home of a radical leftist reformer, or right-wing iconoclast?

“You’re the most moderate pundit that I know.”
— Said by one of the wisest men I know. My sons agree, but believe that is a bad thing in our disordered times.

Both.  Neither.  The various authors each has his own views; the website has none.

From another perspective, a virtue of the FM site is its clear position about the politics of 21st century America:  it stands against them.  Today we get to choose a political party like cattle at the Chicago stockyards get to choose a chute.   The cattle (being smarter than us) don’t bother with party identification.  They don’t cheer the “left-side” pen, or admire the virtue of its prisoners, the beauty of the fence, the free food.  Those in the “right-side” pen don’t wear logos or bumper-stickers, or trumpet their superior intelligence over those in the other pen.

However clear, this position confuses some people.  For those naifs, here is the answer — the true politics of the FM website, plainly stated:

  1. It’s a left-wing site!
  2. It’s a right-wing site!
  3. Do the authors of the FM website support our wars?

A “performative centrist”!
— Said about the editor, Larry Kummer, by the good leftists at Lawyers, Guns, and Money.

(1)  It’s a left-wing site!

“You are so in the tank for the current Democratic leadership that I hope you’re breathing Nitrox.”
— by Knight_of_the_Mind   (source; his website)

With friends like us, President Obama needs no enemies.

“{Y}ou are a left wing idealist. you hardly ever represent the right wing in any of your posts.”
— Major Scarlet (source)

The Major must know few (or no) leftist idealists, as shown by even a brief look at this site’s content.  He says this about the FM newswire for 11 January 2010, which has links to anti-war posts at AnitiWar, TomDispatch, and Informed Comment.

“The author of this website refuses to admit he is a liberal. He also refuses to admit he has an anti-war, anti-american agenda. Feel free to browse the links he provides and ask yourself ‘why would someone that isn’t a liberal with an agenda post this stuff?’.”  (source)

Others who refuses to admit they’re liberals are Patrick Buchanan and William Lind (longtime head of the Center for Cultural Conservatism) — both of whom have posted anti-war articles at AntiWar.com.  Likewise TomDispatch publishes liberal-in-denial Andrew Bacevich (Colonel, US Army, retired, bibliography here), who describes himself as a Catholic conservative and publishes articles in American Conservative magazine.   I suspect none of these men would take kindly to being called “anti-american.” (Neither would Prof Cole of Informed Comment; on the other hand he’s definitely a leftist)

These assertions are obviously wrong.  Lefties abhor much of the material on the FM website (see them burn with rage in the comments).  For example…

(a)  Its critical view of Obama and many of his policies.
(b)  Its skeptical view of anthropogenic global warming (AGW).
(c)  The many conservative voices favorably featured on the FM website.

(1a)  Slamming Obama!

For evidence, look at the FM Reference Pages on the right-side menu bar; click on Obama, his administration and policies. You will see dozens of posts, including the following:

(1b)  Skepticism about global warming — heresy to our politically correct commissars!

Click on Science & Nature – my articles to see dozens of posts challenging the AGW orthodoxy. Plus the countless attacks on me by climate activists.

(1c)  More evidence of heretical thoughts!

The FM website favorably features articles from many prominent conservatives.  Such as …

(2)  It’s a right-wing site!

“It is painfully obvious this is simply a Republican party-line site.”
— Gary, source

“it’s increasingly obvious that this is just one long conservative whine about the modern world.”
— Sgt Oblat, source

No wonder conservatives lost big in the 2008 elections!  If the FM site represents their party line, their platform must call for ritual seppuku of the Grand Old Party’s machinery.  As seen in the following articles about the 2008 campaign, the the Republican Party, our wars, and the Bush Administration’s bailouts.  Plus articles by many leftists.

(2a) Attacks by climate “skeptics”. Attacks on climate skeptics.

  1. Did NASA and NOAA dramatically alter US climate history to exaggerate global warming? Spoiler: no.
  2. The climate wars get exciting. Government conspiracy! Shattered warming records! Global cooling!
  3. Have the climate skeptics jumped the shark, taking the path to irrelevance?, 3 July 2014
  4. About those headlines of the past century about global cooling…, 2 November 2009
  5. The facts about the 1970′s Global Cooling scare, 7 December 2009
  6. Start of another swing of the media narrative – to global cooling?, 11 September 2013
  7. Global Cooling returns to the news, another instructive lesson about America, 25 January 2014
  8. A look into the GOP mind: untethered from reality and drifting in the wind, 3 March 2014
  9. Is the Tea Party wrong about global warming? Yes. And no.

Lots of fun attacks by skeptics. My favorite is by Steve Goddard: Fabius Maximus – Web Moron Of The Day. It’s an honor to be attacked by him!  Also see the comment threads to my posts at Anthony Watts’ website — largely hostile, often brutal, sometimes deranged (lots of actual climate change deniers there). Watts is a prince in the climate wars, almost unique in allowing posts by people like me — who oppose core beliefs of his fans — to post there.

(2b) About the 2008 campaign and the Obama years

See all the posts.

McCain, the Republican candidate, was slammed hard on this site.  Posts about Gov Palin (Alaska – R) were even more critical

(2c)  Articles about America – How can we reform it?

See Section 4, about politics.  I guess the GOP practices self-criticism as well as any Maoist sent for re-education (in the bad old days).

(2d)  Articles about the Iraq & Afghanistan Wars

There are over 100 of them, every one hostile to these wars.

(2e)  War with Iran

Articles about conservatives’ efforts to build support for a strike at Iran: dozens of them, and they brutally criticize this core goal of the Right.

(2e)  Articles about the financial crisis

Dozens of them.  If this is the Republican view, what must the Democrats be saying?

(2f)  Articles featuring evil leftist thoughts

Plus several dozen articles reposted on the FM site from TomDispatch, run by that good leftist Tom Engelhardt (see here).

(3)  Do the authors of the FM website support our wars?

Their opinions differ on the details.  But they all support our men and women who are fighting the wars.

8 thoughts on “Our Politics”

  1. Damned from the right and left! You must be on to something, Fabius. Perhaps the Senate should finally recognize the wisdom of your ways, and make you consul (I have no problem sharing the glory of the republic.)
    FM reply: I reject the view that “we need better leaders.” The problem is that we’re sheep. When we decided to no longer be sheep, we will find American has a plethora of good leaders.

  2. FM: “One virtue of the FM site is its clear position about the politics of 21st century America: I stand against them.

    Only reason why I read and visit here. Only one. Your idea that Leaders will arise when people are ready/prepared for them is very accurate. Once a person begins to formulate an alternate view of affairs in juxtaposition to the dominant propaganda offered non-stop via Media Reports and the adverts for the Natl Representatives and their “accomplishments” (has not penetrated the local politics to such an extent yet) then every day one can discover bright and cogent analysis. Sifting and sorting. Check/back check.
    It’s there.

    E.G.: Watching the National Christmas Tree Lighting this eve on PBS I am struck by what a clever Campaign Event this actually is for Obama 2012. Full of Diversity. Multi-Cultural. AfroAmerican standard cultural references. No Nutcracker here, folks.

    Fascinating. Keep it up Maximus. Thank goodness the WWW still is on air! Greg
    FM: Don’t forget reason #2. It’s free.

  3. Kids today! If you want to meet a REAL communist, you have to be one yourself. When i was that age, i low crawled from Stalingrad to Berlin, WITHOUT SHOES! What’s this world coming to?

  4. Well, now that we know what you stand against, what do you stand for? I mean, come on, can’t you say you’re for something?
    “I am for personal gun ownership”
    “I am for individualism”
    “I am for peace”

    I have read maybe 20 posts of yours and like many I get turned around a couple times but I like the challenge of having more flexibility. You’re posts I would say are best described as intriguing.
    So are you just trying to be a man of mystery or something? That would seem kind of trite. I don’t get that from you’re other posts but I do from this one. Anyway, perhaps you could explain the “ways to reignite the spirit of a nation grown cold.”

    I am intrigued.
    FM reply: I thought this was obvious, but perhaps not. I stand for the Republic, and the things for which it stands — clearly stated in the Constitution, less clearly but more poetically in the Founders’ writings. So I am unequivocally for none of the things you state. Not everybody has a right to every gun. Not everybody has a right to a gun (e.g., felons). Individualism requires balance, as we have obligations to the family, community, and nation. I prefer peace, but sometimes war becomes necessary.

    The love of simple absolutes is for children. Western philosopy is the search for balance among primary dualisms (such as war-peace, equality-freedom, individual-community).

  5. Thank you for the update on my prior comment, FM. It’s true that I am often looking for the absolute. And perhaps that is a shallow view. In any case, I find your comment very heartening.

  6. From #4: FM reply: I thought this was obvious, but perhaps not. I stand for the Republic, and the things for which it stands — clearly stated in the Constitution, less clearly but more poetically in the Founders’ writings.

    You know the funny part is, I would have thought that was obvious too. But then I got on the internet and I started reading jokes about how the “red” and “blue” states should just dissolve their union and make two countries *. Or seeing videos of people who want the government “totally out of my life”. Such statements often have a theatrical, jokey aspect, yet their very blitheness also disturbs.

    To your list of dualities I would add Subjective/Objective. I keep noticing that one, and I’m not sure how to learn to deal with it (in the big picture, I mean).

    * (Wikipedia, “Jesusland Map)

  7. “Right” and “left” are tortured terms that markedly changed from the times right before the French revolution. In the 30s Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin were considered leftists for example of the deliberate redefinition of terms. Much better to use a “political compass” approach. However, if we must keep it to one dimension, it would be those favoring less centralized Government which in America would mean resurrecting the long ago shredded 10th ammendment; vs those wishing more intrusive centralized Government. Republicans say they want smaller Govt and occasionally will take small measures that way (Reagan and Trump for example). Democrats since the end of Jim Crow have been totally in favor of expanding Federal power. Therefore I speak of the lesser evil. Would you like the last embers of what is no longer a Republic of federated sovereign states to exist or a tsunami to drown out all individual and state rights in a centralized tyranny from Washington DC?
    That said, this site clearly leans towards promoting individual and state rights.
    That is the view of this American biracial Cuban born immigrant. Embers (Republicans) or wet ashes (Democrats); make your choice. I was born in a communist country and it appears I will die in one also.

    1. JR,

      “Right” and “left” are tortured terms that markedly changed from the times …”

      That’s missing the point. Left and right are one dimensional representation of the political spectrum. It’s a simple and easily understood – hence useful – way to describe the two teams people tend to divide into. The particular policies of Left and Right change over time within the long-held traditions of Left and Right.

      “That said, this site clearly leans towards promoting individual and state rights.”

      I suggest reading some of the last ten posts I’ve written. You’ve not gotten the message. It’s the opposite of my view. The very opposite. As described here:

      The Founders’ error dooms our Republic, but not the next.


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