The Return of the Fabians

Fabiano Anthony Forte became Fabian – a teen idol of the late fifties and early sixties. He made it big after Dick Clark had him on American Bandstand a few times, and he had his hits, and then he disappeared. He wasn’t Elvis. He wasn’t anyone in particular. He wasn’t that special. No one remembers him now.

And he has nothing to do with the Fabian Society – the British organization whose sole purpose is “to advance the principles of democratic socialism” – but in a careful way, through “gradualist and reformist” efforts within democracies. They’re clear about that. No one is going to overthrow anyone in any revolution. The Fabian Society was founded in 1884 and named after the Roman general Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, also known as “Cunctator” – the “Delayer” – the guy who defeated Hannibal and his superior Carthaginian army by just wearing them down. There was no need for pitched climactic battles, and that means that these days the Fabian Society functions primarily as a think tank – one of fifteen “socialist” societies affiliated with the British Labour Party. They’re the boring guys – Harold Wilson to Tony Blair – change the world, gradually, and not much at any given time. Choose reform, not revolution. Dare to be boring!

No one remembers the original Fabian Society now. No one remembers when it wasn’t boring, when a young George Bernard Shaw did their talking for them. Americans don’t know the current Fabian Society either. Why would they? They’re harmless. They choose to be harmless – but Ben Carson knows better:

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson told an audience of conservative activists on Friday that the sexual assault allegations facing President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court are part of a plot by socialists to take over America that dates back more than a century.

“If you really understand the big picture of what’s going on, then what’s going on with Kavanaugh will make perfectly good sense to you,” Carson said at the annual Values Voter Summit in Washington. “There’ve been people in this country for a very long time, going all the way back to the Fabians, people who’ve wanted to fundamentally change this country.”

Ah, the real enemy, the previously hidden enemy, has now been finally revealed:

An American chapter of the Fabian society was established in 1895 in Boston, but it is no longer active in the United States. Nonetheless, Carson vividly described what he claimed the ideological descendants of the Fabians were plotting, and how Professor Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that Kavanaugh assaulted her at a party in the 1980s fit into the plot.

“They don’t like what America is and what it represents, and they want to change us to another system. In order to do that, there are three things they must control: the education system, the media, and the courts. The first two of those they have,” Carson said. “The other they thought they had, but it was snatched out from under their noses in November of 2016.”

Now, Carson continued, these forces “are like wet hornets, just completely lost control off the deep end, and the further they get away from being able to control the courts the more desperate they become,” he said. “They don’t see themselves as being able to control the courts for another generation, so what is left? Chaos and destruction…”

And it was the Fabians all along. The Fabians are the real enemy. Who knew? It may be that Fabiano Anthony Forte is the enemy too. Anything is possible. But this was not the Fabians:

President Trump cast doubt Friday on the credibility of the woman who has accused Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers, escalating tensions over the Supreme Court nomination, as Senate negotiations over whether she will tell her story at a public hearing slipped into the weekend.

By attacking California professor Christine Blasey Ford, Trump abandoned the self-restraint he had showed for days and pushed Kavanaugh’s nomination deeper into turmoil. Democrats, key Republican senators and advocates for victims of sexual assault swiftly rebuked the president.

Meanwhile, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) gave Ford one more day to respond to his offer for her and Kavanaugh to testify before his panel on Wednesday, capping an extraordinary late-night back-and-forth.

Grassley tweeted out something like “Okay, you get one more damned day, but nothing else.” He was angry, but he had been trapped:

Before that tweet, Debra Katz, an attorney for Ford, said committee Republicans’ arbitrary deadlines and ultimatums had created stress and anxiety for her client, who met with the FBI on Friday about the death threats she had received.

“Your cavalier treatment of a sexual assault survivor who has been doing her best to cooperate with the Committee is completely inappropriate,” Katz wrote in an email to Grassley aides.

Grassley had to give in or he’d look like a moral monster, and he wasn’t happy about that:

Earlier in the day, Grassley had warned that he would move ahead with plans for his committee to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination on Monday if his offer of a Wednesday hearing was rejected or ignored.

It was rejected. He gave in. She’d have another day to decide.. His threat hadn’t “really” been a threat, but this was a done deal:

The developments added new turbulence to a nomination that Republicans have sought to steady in their public comments. “In the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told conservative activists Friday.

McConnell was saying it didn’t matter what this woman says, even if somehow she is allowed to say anything. What she says may even be true. If it is, that doesn’t matter. Even if Kavanaugh were charged with a crime for what happened way back then, and convicted, and sent to prison for twenty to life, it still wouldn’t matter. Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court. Modern teleconferencing is great these days.

And Trump changed his tune, to influence on-the-fence Republican senators who could screw this up. He’d been too nice. This woman is a liar and a fraud and coward and slut and whatnot:

“I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents,” Trump said in a Friday tweet, his first to mention Kavanaugh’s accuser by name.

He said it was time for her to release the charging documents from way back when – copies of the precise charges she filed against Kavanaugh, with the date and time and place of the charged crime or crimes. She didn’t press specific charges at the time? There’s no paperwork? If so, nothing happened. That’s the dispute Trump opened:

Ford said in an interview with the Washington Post published Sunday that she told no one of the incident in any detail until 2012, when she was in couples therapy with her husband. By Friday afternoon, the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport was trending on Twitter, with thousands of people coming forward to explain their hesitation to contact authorities.

Those on Trump’s side were having none of that. She didn’t file charges in 1984 when she was fifteen. What the hell was wrong with her? Maybe nothing was wrong with her. Maybe nothing happened. But it doesn’t matter:

Also on Friday, Trump tweeted: “Let her testify, or not, and TAKE THE VOTE!”

“He was born for the U.S. Supreme Court. He was born for it. And it’s going to happen. It’s going to happen,” Trump said at a rally in Missouri on Friday night.

That should have convinced those on-the-fence Republican senators who could screw this up, and some Democratic senators in red states, but it didn’t:

His latest comments triggered a widespread backlash from Democratic lawmakers and a few moderate Republican senators who have not declared whether they will support Kavanaugh. Republicans hold a slim 51-to-49 advantage in the Senate.

“I was appalled by the president’s tweet,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). “First of all, we know that allegations of sexual assault – I’m not saying that’s what happened in this case – but we know allegations of sexual assault are one of the most unreported crimes that exist. So I thought that the president’s tweet was completely inappropriate and wrong.” Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) sounded a similar note, saying, “I thought that was incredibly insensitive.”

Democrats were even more critical. Sen. Maggie Hassan (N.H.) tweeted: “The President’s comments are one of the reasons why it is so hard for survivors of sexual assault [to] come forward.”

Trump, however, saw a conspiracy:

Over the span of three hours Friday, Trump tweeted several times about Ford and Kavanaugh from Las Vegas, where he held a political rally Thursday night and did a couple of events Friday.

In one tweet, he contended that Kavanaugh is under assault by “radical left wing politicians” who are not interested in the truth about the allegation but instead “just want to destroy and delay.”

The president also took aim at “radical left lawyers” who he said are seeking to get the FBI to investigate Ford’s allegations, saying: “Why didn’t someone call the FBI 36 years ago?”

Ben Carson says this is the work of the hidden and now secret American Fabian Society – which never folded but went underground – so Donald Trump may follow Carson’s lead here.

But there is that other secret society:

Memos written by Andrew McCabe when he was the acting FBI director say that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein suggested he secretly record his talks with President Trump, and that Rosenstein discussed possibly trying to remove Trump from office, according to people familiar with the matter.

The account, first reported by the New York Times, paints Rosenstein as so concerned in May 2017 in the wake of Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey that he contemplated secretly recording conversations with the president. He also initiated discussions about invoking the 25th Amendment, which details how the Cabinet can decide whether a president is no longer able to discharge the duties of the office, one of the McCabe memos said.

The revelations immediately prompted speculation that Trump might seize on the new information to fire Rosenstein. The deputy attorney general oversees special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether any Trump associates conspired in those efforts.

The only problem is that the New York Times’ story seems to be a one-off. Other news organizations have their own sources, all of whom report that Rosenstein was being sarcastic in these meetings – or that he said no such thing – but it was time to clean this up:

“The New York Times’s story is inaccurate and factually incorrect,” Rosenstein said. “I will not further comment on a story based on anonymous sources who are obviously biased against the department and are advancing their own personal agenda. But let me be clear about this: Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”

In a second statement hours later, Rosenstein said: “I never pursued or authorized recording the president and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false.”

That statement came after White House officials pressured the Justice Department to issue a more forceful denial, according to an adviser who spoke to the president.

Fine, but the damage has been done:

Trump asked advisers Friday if he should fire Rosenstein, and some of those around the president sought to sway him not to make any decision Friday night. During those discussions, Trump said he did not trust Rosenstein or McCabe, the adviser said.

It was time to get the man to calm down, or at least to get him to watch a bit of Fox News:

Fox News host Sean Hannity late Friday urged President Trump not to fire anyone following a New York Times report that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had proposed secretly taping conversations in the Oval Office last year…

“I have a message for the president tonight. Under zero circumstances should the president fire anybody,” Hannity, a vocal ally of Trump, said during his program.

“They are hoping and praying that the president does just that, that he gets mad, that he gets sick and tired of it” and turns it into a scandal, Hannity added.

Sean Hannity is blunt. Do NOT fire anyone. It’s a trap – the New York Times is setting you up. They’re ALL out to get you. They planted this story. They WANT you to fire Rosenstein and have even most Republicans turn on you. Don’t do it. This is the Fabians at work.

No, he didn’t say that last bit. Hannity is not Ben Carson, but things seem to revolve around him:

President Donald Trump on Friday abandoned plans to quickly declassify and release sensitive documents connected to the FBI’s Russia investigation, citing a “perceived negative impact” on the probe and concerns raised by “key allies” about dumping the materials.

Trump instead announced that he would defer to a Justice Department watchdog – Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who he once derided as an “Obama guy” – to finish a review of whether anti-Trump bias affected the FBI’s handling of its 2016 Russia probe.

Trump got stung. Hannity had been pushing this. Let the public see just who our informers are, by name and location, and the name and location of each double-agent we have embedded in each foreign government, and the names and locations of all our spies – and let the public see how we gather electronic information – the precise technology. Show the public all sources and methods, and then let the public decide if our intelligence services have been fair to Donald Trump.

Our intelligence services were screaming bloody murder about this for a week. That didn’t move Trump. Out closest allies told Trump that they’d no longer share any secret intelligence with us – Trump would just shout it out. They’d lose “assets” in the field. They weren’t going to get their people killed. We would have to figure out all the terrorism threats coming our way, on our own. Hannity hadn’t thought of that, but that did move Trump.

So it comes down to this:

Trump’s Friday-tweet likely staves off a confrontation between the president and his own intelligence officials, who have publicly and privately warned of the dangers of revealing classified intelligence. Democrats have attacked the initial decision to release the documents as reckless, arguing it could endanger international intelligence partnerships and sources. Trump told the Hill in an interview earlier this week that he had decided to release the documents in part at the urging of conservative Fox News TV hosts…

“I have been asked by so many people that I respect, please – the great Lou Dobbs, the great Sean Hannity, the wonderful, great Jeanine Pirro,” he said.

After Trump announced he would slow the declassification push, Sen. Mark Warner – the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee – took a swipe at Trump’s comment.

“This is why the President should be relying on the advice of intelligence and law enforcement professionals, not cable news hosts,” Warner tweeted.

Well, it’s either the cable news hosts or the ideological descendants of the Fabians, isn’t it? But that’s Ben Carson’s name for them. Hannity and Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro call those people the Deep State. Donald Trump calls those people the Deep State too, occasionally – but it would be cool if everyone talked about the Fabian Society instead. People could quote George Bernard Shaw – “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”

That’s how this ends.

About Alan

The editor is a former systems manager for a large California-based HMO, and a former senior systems manager for Northrop, Hughes-Raytheon, Computer Sciences Corporation, Perot Systems and other such organizations. One position was managing the financial and payroll systems for a large hospital chain. And somewhere in there was a two-year stint in Canada running the systems shop at a General Motors locomotive factory - in London, Ontario. That explains Canadian matters scattered through these pages. Otherwise, think large-scale HR, payroll, financial and manufacturing systems. A résumé is available if you wish. The editor has a graduate degree in Eighteenth-Century British Literature from Duke University where he was a National Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and taught English and music in upstate New York in the seventies, and then in the early eighties moved to California and left teaching. The editor currently resides in Hollywood California, a block north of the Sunset Strip.
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2 Responses to The Return of the Fabians

  1. Rick Brown says:

    As for this Ford-Kavanaugh discussion, what we all need to decide is, which side is just playing “politics”, and which side has “truth” on its side?

    In fact, there are indeed two separate and distinct parts of this fight; there’s “politics” and there’s “truth”. And, the truth be known, it must first be admitted that both sides are playing politics:

    (a) The Republicans — who don’t really mind everyone hearing what Dr. Ford has to say, but just as long as it remains a question of “he-said, she-said”, and doesn’t seriously jeopardize the confirmation of their Supreme Court candidate, Bret Kavanaugh — obviously would like to get their guy onto the court before the midterms, since there is just that chance they will lose their Senate majority during the elections, and along with it, their ability to confirm Kavanaugh;


    (b) Likewise, the Democrats — who also don’t really mind everyone hearing what Dr. Ford has to say, just as long as everyone also hears the results of an independent investigation into her allegations, keeping the hearing from becoming a question of “he-said, she-said”, in which the accused would, by default, be presumed innocent — would, in addition, not mind terribly if the whole process got delayed, hopefully long enough to keep the Republicans from getting their guy on the court, since there’s just that chance they can do to the Republicans what the Republicans did to them with Merrick Garland, which, they think, would be both political and poetic justice.

    But as for the “truth” part?

    There really is a good reason to believe that Judge Kavanaugh was guilty of attempted rape when he was in high school, and apparently got away with it, so does either side really want to see someone like that get a lifetime appointment to the highest court, making decisions about, among other things, women’s sex lives? With just a little investigation by the FBI, we should get a pretty good idea if Dr. Ford’s claims are true, no matter the delay.

    So while both sides have strong political reasons to take the stands they do, the Democrats have the advantage of also having truth on their side, despite the politics.

    So our big dilemma now is, which will win out — raw politics, or raw truth — in this, the Era of Trump? We shall see.


  2. barney says:

    America is being influenced by the three biggest boobs in America next to trump, Dobbs, Pirro and the jackass Hannity. America has never been weaker.

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