Le Président de la France

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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135 Responses

  1. InMD says:

    Good and interesting read. And now we have another Islamist attack to throw into the mix.


    • LeeEsq in reply to InMD says:

      Even though this is a minor attack, it helps Le Pen because it makes her point for her.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Also, Macron did the “We’re just going to get used to this” response, which likely did not help him.

        My belief that Fillon will defeat Le Pen for the presidency is looking better.Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to Will Truman says:

          I think a lot center left and center right politicians are struggling right now because they are giving their honest response to what they see as the issues of the day. That is “we really don’t have a solution and there is not a good or easy answer to these issues but we have to muddle through these things as best as we can to preserve our liberties.”Report

          • InMD in reply to LeeEsq says:

            I dunno about that. The populist answer to these issues isn’t the one I agree with but I understand the parts of the appeal that don’t involve attacks on civil liberties (i.e. let’s stay out of these conflicts, and especially in Europe, let’s stop importing culturally hostile people from backwards, war torn places).

            Those level headed centrists didn’t exactly create Islamist extremism but it’s a monster they’ve been feeding raw meat to for the last 35 years or more. Until they reckon with what theyve done they have no sympathy from me.Report

            • pillsy in reply to InMD says:

              Was this latest attack caused by someone “imported”?

              Many, if not most, of the jihadist attacks that I know about haven’t been about new immigrants.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

                “Refugees don’t do these things. It’s the children or grandchildren of refugees that do these things. Also, we need to accept more refugees. What? Are you afraid of little children?”Report

              • pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

                I think there’s a lot to @inmd ‘s argument that a lot of EU countries have made a hash out of integration, but it’s hard to see how, “If we do this now, we’ll have less terrorism a generation or two from now,” is a much better response than, “We might as well get used to it.”Report

              • Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

                Logistically, maybe not much different (though there is something to be said for “stop digging”). Psychologically? Big difference.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

                I see where you’re coming from, but at a certain point it gets you to saying, “Let’s just dupe the electorate by spending a few billion Euros on terrorist-repelling rocks and tell them it’ll take 50 years for them to work.”

                Also, I kind of have a mirror response to @inmd ‘s, where if the problem is integration, why do the populists work so hard to reduce and combat integration at every turn? I’ll admit this view has more to do with American populists who worry about this stuff, but, well, this kind of psychology cuts multiple ways.Report

              • InMD in reply to pillsy says:


                I won’t argue that there isn’t hypocrisy on the part of these populist movements or that xenophobia has nothing to do with it. When Jean-Marie Le Pen was leader of the National Front the party was the unapologetic home of France’s skinheads. All I’m saying is that the reconstructed party wouldn’t be a contender if that was all this was about, and that centrist liberal parties and politicians wouldn’t be getting pinched by populists if they’d done a better job managing these issues. It’s not like they don’t have all of the structural advantages in the world’s advanced democracies.Report

              • InMD in reply to pillsy says:

                The shooter in this instance was a French national. Not seeing anything else yet that’s definitive on his background.

                On the broader issue I don’t think it’s controversial to say that European countries have not done a good job at integration. You see it with the descendents of the Gastarbeiters in Germany, you see it in the Banlieus in France.

                Failed public policy has already turned these places into breeding grounds for extremism and I see no reason to think the latest efforts will go better. If I was a tax payer over there I’d ask why my government that’s already mucked this up is intent on throwing more fuel into the fire.Report

            • Jesse in reply to InMD says:

              “i.e. let’s stay out of these conflicts, and especially in Europe, let’s stop importing culturally hostile people from backwards, war torn places”

              The thing is, that’s a good argument in I don’t know, Hungary or Poland. However, most of France’s problems are from populations they invited in from former colonies, then ghettoized and marginalized after colonizing them and fighting a vicious civil war.Report

              • InMD in reply to Jesse says:

                The legacy of France’s empire is something they’ll be living with for generations, that’s true. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to pack more, similarly situated people into the ghettos they already have.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to Jesse says:

                I don’t think that the relationship between Islamic terrorism and colonialism is as direct as many on the liberal-left would like to think. Its We would have a lot more terrorism from places like Vietnam, the Philippines, Haiti and many African countries otherwise. Some of the places that produce many terrorists per capital were under colonial rule for the least amount of time or not at all.Report

            • LeeEsq in reply to InMD says:

              That is only part of the populist answer. The other part is lets kick all the immigrants out and don’t allow anymore in.Report

              • InMD in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Well that’s one of the many parts of the platform I don’t agree with. Once they’re there I think the only acceptable answer is to enfranchise and assimilate as best you can.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to InMD says:

                How do you assimilate people who don’t drink, eat pork, and are socially conservative into a culture that drinks, loves pork, and is culturally libertine?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Sex, Drugs, Rock and/or Roll. Introduce pop culture stars who do things like “rebel against straight-laced authority”.

                We need something like “Footloose”.

                “We’re not *FROM* the old country anymore, Dad! You don’t understand! You don’t understand anything! I WANT TO DANCE!”Report

              • notme in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Clearly France needs to change for them.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to notme says:

                See, you just made Lee’s point, seems to me. Your view is that a majority can legitimately define what constitutes “culture” and eliminate cultural elements which it disapproves of, by force. That’s a dangerous path to go down, notme, don’t you think?Report

              • notme in reply to Stillwater says:

                Your view is that a majority can legitimately define what constitutes “culture” and eliminate cultural elements which it disapproves of, by force.

                BS, I said no such thing. I never said France should use force. If so please quote me.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to notme says:

                Rather then get into a squabble about who misinterpreted who and when, why don’t you just state, unequivocally, whether you think France – on whatever definition you choose – has the right to use governmental power to enforce French culture norms.Report

              • notme in reply to Stillwater says:

                I think that the French have already gone halfway there already via the Académie française, though I don’t think their pronouncements are binding on the government. However if the French want to decided what makes one French, they can do so. They have already banned the Hijab.


              • Stillwater in reply to notme says:

                So your answer is “yes”? That France (however that term is defined) should have the right to use the power of law to enforce cultural norms?

                Add: this isn’t a gotcha, btw. I’m genuinely curious about your sincere views here without pre-judgment.Report

              • notme in reply to Stillwater says:

                If using the power of the gov’t to enforce cultural norms is legal under French law then I have no problem with them doing so.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to notme says:

                Does this apply to the French ability to control culture through abridgment of freedom of speech?Report

              • Murali in reply to notme says:

                So, there is no issue about whether it ought to be legal? In malaysia, it is illegal to convert out of Islam. But we can agree that it ought not to be illegal.Report

              • notme in reply to Stillwater says:

                Clearly France needs to change for them.

                That comment was a sarcastic reply mocking the idea that a majority should change their culture for a few folks that choose to live outside the norms.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to notme says:

                I got that the first time. I’m just wondering what follows from that view. Forced removal for not being a wine drinker? Incarceration for not eating pork?Report

              • notme in reply to Stillwater says:

                If you truly “get it” then why do you keep asking me to define what the French should do? If the French decide that X or Y is the cultural norm for them and the punishment for not doing so is Z then fine. I’m not French and have no intention of going to seek residence in France so I don’t care. It’s their country, their culture, their norms and their business.Report

              • pillsy in reply to notme says:

                For instance, if the French decide that Jews can’t be citizens, you’re right behind them in sticking up for their culture.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to notme says:

                If you truly “get it” then why do you keep asking me to define what the French should do?

                Hey, you’re the one who sarcastically said that the French majority shouldn’t have to accommodate non-wine drinking, non-pork-eating Muslims!

                Which brings us back to the question of governmental force. Given that you think French law trumps all other considerations, you appear to hold the view that The French* have the legitimate authority to use governmental force to eliminate cultural elements (eg, anti-porkism!) which it disapproves of. And the US too, if our laws allowed such things.

                Which is not only a bad road to go down, as I said upthread, but a massive confusion of the role The Law plays in society.

                *however that term is definedReport

              • notme in reply to Stillwater says:

                I think you are missing the forest for the trees. Anytime a society decides to sanction an action or behavior, it is a reflection of their culture. The reasoning behind the sanction may or may not closely tied to the majority religion. Drink alcohol in a Muslim country it’s bad, while drinking in France is fine. The question is how far down into the weeds of behavior is a country willing to go.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to notme says:

                Anytime a society decides to sanction an action or behavior, it is a reflection of their culture.

                Close. It’s a reflection of certain, perhaps very limited, elements in their culture. Sometimes merely the “cultural” prerogatives of those in power. Which is why having a justification for laws which goes beyond “whatever was passed and signed” is important. Laws serve a specific purpose in every society, they are not ends in themselves. They are tools. So keeping an eye on what that tool is used for is important.

                Now, I get that sometimes cultural considerations are so dominant that the legal tool is confused with an end in itself. Prohibition is a good example. So the instrumental value of a rule, or law, needs to be considered alongside a gummint’s “legitimate right” to categorically enact em.Report

              • Troublesome Frog in reply to Stillwater says:

                I think the concern isn’t so much that there are people who disapprove of wine drinking for themselves so much as it is concern that a critical mass of people will decide that they disapprove of wine drinking for everybody in France.Report

              • Incarceration for not eating pork?

                They did that back in the 40s. At least the very few of them who weren’t in the Resistance the whole time.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to LeeEsq says:

                How do you assimilate people who don’t drink, eat pork, and are socially conservative into a culture that drinks, loves pork, and is culturally libertine?

                Find a different subset of culture to assimilate with?Report

              • gregiank in reply to LeeEsq says:

                You don’t assimilate people. Unless you are going for a Borg thing. People assimilate themselves. They find their niche and their kids find theirs and so on. We can create conditions that might make assimilating a bit easier or a bit harder, but that is all “we” can do. Not letting people become citizens makes it harder as does denying them full protection of the law or all the rights of citizens. Bigotry makes it harder. Gov can do something about some of those things.Report

              • notme in reply to gregiank says:

                People assimilate themselves.

                And what is a society supposed to do with a group that won’t assimilate themselves?Report

              • gregiank in reply to notme says:

                Leave people to live their lives unless they are committing crimes. If individuals are committing crimes then they should be arrested and if convicted go to jail.

                There have always been groups of immigrants in this country that didn’t assimilate completely or even much at all. Typically their children or grandchildren assimilated far more than the original immigrants. You are heading down the road of some sort of official Assimilation laws and/or agency to oversee it. Is that really where you want to go?Report

              • notme in reply to gregiank says:

                No, you don’t need “Assimilation laws”, you just don’t import anymore of the folks that won’t assimilate.Report

              • gregiank in reply to notme says:

                Ok that’s a start. What is the assimilation test to know who will assimilate or not? All sorts of peoples of various creeds, faiths, wack-a-doodle beliefs have assimilate well to the US. Is that test based just on religion or what?Report

              • notme in reply to gregiank says:

                It’s no body’s business but the French. Credit to They Might Be GiantsReport

              • Kolohe in reply to notme says:

                Well, *actually*…Report

              • Jaybird in reply to gregiank says:

                Leave people to live their lives unless they are committing crimes.

                Please please please please please let me be on the board that decides what is and what is not a crime.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                Dude, I’d vote for ya. But I don’t believe you when you say you want to be on that board. 🙂Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                I wasn’t a libertarian because I was locked in here with all of you.

                I was a libertarian because all of you were locked in here with me.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                I apologize for the role I played in nudging you towards embracing Libertarianism. But I’m not sure how muchuva a role I actually played since you were already a robust Libertopian when I got here.

                Still, I get your point. Your self-identification as libertarian was largely out of your control. 🙂Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                I imagine that, 20 minutes after everything really gets rolling, we’ll be asking “wait, aren’t libertarian principles important?”Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                It’s a mixed bag. Like Chris Rock said “on crime I’m a conservative, on prostitution I’m a liberal.”

                No one REALLY wants libertarian principles instituted across the board. Not even Jason K.Report

              • gregiank in reply to Jaybird says:

                I would think you like the part about letting people live their own lives. But i guess the idea of things being illegal is pretty darn controversial.Report

              • pillsy in reply to LeeEsq says:

                You don’t do stuff like insist on “eating pork” and “drinking wine” as non-negotiable parts of the French identity?Report

              • InMD in reply to pillsy says:

                If only it were that easy. And that’s not even getting into the French take on organized religion.Report

              • pillsy in reply to InMD says:

                It’s not that easy at all, but if you want more assimilation, make it easier to assimilate and become invested in the country, not harder.

                That includes economic opportunity, and legal equality, but it also includes not flipping out over the small stuff.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

                Is “feminism” a non-negotiable part of French identity?Report

              • pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

                Probably. If so, all the more reason not to waste effort on stupid shit like whether people dig on swine or teetotal.Report

              • InMD in reply to LeeEsq says:

                I think like Pillsy said below you need to treat them as fully enfranchised citizens and provide adequate economic opportunity. It could still take multiple generations and will certainly have all kinds of hiccups. But then this is why I don’t think animosity in Europe to more immigration from certain parts of the world is so crazy. It isn’t an easy thing to do well and it’s hard to known if you’re succeeding.

                America has a certain set of founding myths and principles about immigration. Now we’ve been grossly hypocritical and failing to live up to those things in very profound ways from day 1, but it’s still part of our cultural DNA. I’m not sure it’s fair to hold other countries to that standard, especially when they were founded on myths and principles of self governance for people who shared certain linguistic and cultural traits, or in the case of modern France about particular political principles arising out of rebellion against absolute monarchy.

                Now I know that France is a bit more flexible about what it means to be French, than say, Germany, but I also know that official secularism is one of the things hard wired into their cultural DNA. It’s possible that Islam without a major reformation of some kind will never be compatible with that.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to InMD says:

                The French have always defined themselves non-racially but they aren’t that religious anymore. They were one of the first European countries to enter secularism/Post-Christianity en mass. They did it during the 19th century while it took most of the 20th century to get religious identity to crash in the rest of Europe.Report

              • InMD in reply to LeeEsq says:

                That’s exactly what I mean though. It isn’t only about drinking wine and eating pork, it’s about what a culture that defines itself in no small part by it’s secularism does with a minority that defines itself in large part by religion. And not religion in the watered down mainline Protestant, post Vatican II Catholic way, but a way that looks to them like something that was left behind in the bad old days.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to InMD says:

                This is where I feel that many people on our side are a bit wrong about Muslim immigrants. Islam never really went through a modernizaiton/libealization like Christianity and Judaism did. It doesn’t really have to these days because the Muslims who want to can just go straight into secularism with at best the occasional node to their religion rather than develop an acculturated version of Islam to get the European package of goodies. This gives the anti-modernists in Islam extraordinary power. A lot of far leftists like to encourage this form of Islam because it seems more authentic and anti-colonialist to them.Report

              • pillsy in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Yeah, I think that’s a definite anti-pattern, and one where a lot people on the left (and especially, as you note, the farther left) and the right sort of converge on the idea that “real” Islam is the anti-modernist stuff. Seems to do no one any good except the anti-modernists.

                It’s a little like how a lot of atheists I’ve known seem to believe that fundamentalist Christians are the real authority on what Christianity is.Report

              • InMD in reply to LeeEsq says:

                @leeesq I think what you and @pillsy are saying is true as far as it goes. What it doesn’t account for is the fact that political Islam does exist. We live under a government that’s encouraged it to exist when it’s AK-47s and RPGs were pointed at enemies (the USSR) or governments we don’t like (Assad). That’s without even getting into the long standing Shia v. Sunni feud or the situation in Gaza and the West Bank.

                I have a lot if criticisms of the far left in this country (the obsessions with identity politics and related dogma will never be my bag). But I don’t think they’re the ones feeding radical Islam. It’s our intelligence community and military intervening on their side.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to InMD says:

                Political Islam is a lot older than the 19th century. State and religious boundaries were always blurrier in Islam than other religions by design. Even during the 19th century, you had Muslims that believed the response to modernity was Muslim theocracy. This naturally did not set well to many non-Muslims or many Muslims in Muslim majority countries.Report

              • pillsy in reply to InMD says:

                That’s a fair point.Report

    • notme in reply to InMD says:

      Are you sure? What self respecting liberal here will believe that this is Muslim terrorist attack just b/c ISIS says so? I mean there wasn’t an ISIS ID card found on the attacker so who really knows. Clearly toddlers with guns are more of a threat.Report

  2. North says:

    Yeah I certainly hope she doesn’t win, but I agree that everything she needs to have happen to win has happened.Report

  3. Don Zeko says:

    It’s odd of the Slate article to quote Marx about the French Presidency when the office has only existed in this form since 1958.Report

    • I thought so, too. Also, I view the French system more as a “mixed parliamentary-presidential system” than as a “presidential system.” But then, I haven’t read the 18e Brumaire or the the Slate article.Report

  4. PD Shaw says:

    The American origin of a strong Presidency lies in the thoughts of the French political philosopher Montesquieu, confirmed by observations of states with weak executives in the interim period (Pennsylvania in particular), but mostly what the Federalists were up to was the creation of a new state from individual states. Popular election of the President created the foundation for national authority.

    Most states creating democratic Constitutions don’t face the “merger” issue, so the independent Presidency doesn’t solve any problem, and if the preceding political system was might makes right, the strong President might simply become an elected tyrant. All that said, there is one place in the world that might benefit from an independent President — the EU. That is, if the EU is to become a federal state.Report

    • InMD in reply to PD Shaw says:

      If she wins I predict disintegration of the EU. They can get along without the British who were never fully committed to anything beyond lowering trade barriers. Loss of France (and I think that would follow) makes the entire project look like German imperialism.Report

      • Jesse in reply to InMD says:

        Franco-British Union sixty years too late!


      • PD Shaw in reply to InMD says:

        I think she loses, but the underlying problem the EU poses for developed democracies will remain. The EU is unpopular on the left and the right, it’s responsible for things people want to have a say on, and a convenient stooge for elected officials as well.Report

        • InMD in reply to PD Shaw says:

          No disagreement. It lacks popular legitimacy and is therefore an easy punching bag. I do think it could work but it would need to be done very slowly with very limited goals. All the talk about a United States of Europe in the early aughts was premature by decades. It would still be premature if it was just starting to bubble up now.Report

    • George Turner in reply to PD Shaw says:

      One of the differences between the US and most of Europe was that we had already overthrown a monarchy prior to setting our federal democratic form in place. In Britain and most other European countries, democracy had to contend with a sitting monarchy that was quite powerful, and the monarchy was the executive branch. So to democratize, they slowly shifted executive powers from the king to the legislative branch, as opposed to just electing a new king every four years. The result is what we might consider a hybrid, with a legislative/executive parliament and the old executive branch being a hobbled rubber stamp.Report

      • That’s a good observation.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to George Turner says:

        The United Kingdom was well on its way to Parliamentary government by the time the American Revolution came along. The King already lost most of his powers and even though the Prime Minister wasn’t formally responsible to the House of Commons yet, there was an idea that the Prime Minister should have the support and be able to get most of the MPs to go along with him.

        Our Founders didn’t really pay that much attention to these political developments though. They thought that the United Kingdom still roughly operated like it did after the Glorious Revolution with the King as the executive, Parliament as the legislature, and the judiciary independent of both. They really admired some aspects of this set up and created an idealized and republicanized version of it for the Federal government.Report

  5. Jaybird says:

    What’s the percentage of “undecided”?

    If it’s over 3%, I’m going to go with “people don’t want to say that they’re voting for ‘Team Evil’ to a pollster.”Report

    • Jesse in reply to Jaybird says:

      Which Team Evil? The sellout banker, the racist, the corrupt social reactionary, or the communist?

      (Also again, polling on a national level in neither the US or Brexit was wrong. It was within MoE. Of course, with 4 people all bunched around 20, MoE is a lot more important in France than here.)Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jesse says:

        Also again, polling on a national level in neither the US or Brexit was wrong.

        My problem is not “ha! all of the polls said 40% chance of it happening and it happened!” but my problem is that all (or damn near all) of the polls on a national level in both the US and Brexit predicted the wrong winner.

        If you’ve got a 40% chance of a thing happening and you take 100 polls, 40 of the polls ought to show the thing happening. Or somewhere around 40ish polls. Give or take some margin of error.

        But all of the polls were within the margin of error IN THE SAME DIRECTION (or damn near all).Report

        • pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

          National level polls in the US did show the correct winner, because they were measuring popular voter share, though…?Report

          • Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

            So it wasn’t that they were wrong, but polling the wrong thing and people mixed up what they were polling with what they thought they were polling.

            Could happen to anyone, I guess.

            So we’ve learned our lessons from Brexit and Trump and now we not only know how to read the French polls but we now know that we’re actually polling the right things?

            Good to know.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Jaybird says:

      I retweeted it a couple days ago, but Le Pen was previously underpolled a bit in the first round, and overpolled in the second. Which has a certain logic to it. But that suggests Le Pen is a lock to make the runoffs, but is going to have a really difficult time making the runoffs.

      Given what they were trying to poll, Brexit polling was actually quite impressively accurate.

      The 2016 (state) polling had a pretty substantial problem, but it was noticeable mostly because it was polling something that should have been more reliable than Brexit or a four-person-race.

      The 2015 UK general election is what people should point to when they talk about the unreliability of polling. (And, to a lesser extent, 2016 state polling.)Report

      • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

        There was a last minute (OK, couple weeks) slide in the 2016 national polls that was caught be paying attention, and suggested that the outcome that happened was fairly likely. And the national vote was pretty close to the polling suggested.

        I think a lot of the surprise had to do with people saying, “Well, stuff that happens 30% of the time basically never happens.”

        Well, that and paying too much attention to Sam Wang.Report

        • Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

          The “30%” is largely a recognition that the polling may not be accurately capturing the state of the race. Which is to say that the polling wasn’t good. Not because the pollsters were ideologically driven or bad at their jobs, mind you, but because there are limits to what polling can tell us. Even when it comes to races that are allegedly very stable and reportedly nobody ever changes their mind.

          The Brexit pollsters have relatively little to answer for. The 2016 pollsters at the state level, have been rightfully spending time trying to figure out what went wrong.

          (It’s also worth pointing out that Silver was the outlier, not Wang. According to most, it wasn’t a 30% thing that happened, but a 10% thing that happened.)Report

          • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

            I focus on Silver because he did the best job and was (I think) vindicated to the extent he could be vindicated by a single, unrepeatable event.

            I also think placing to much weight on Wang and his approach was a big mistake, and was a big mistake all the way back to 2012. It really was the same kind of thing that led a lot of people to believe CDOs were “AAA” rated.

            So I do have a bias.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Jaybird says:



      • Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

        Of those, the ones that are from 2014 or before don’t really cheer/worry me at all. The ones from 2015 and 2016, however, strike me as being relevant to what’s going on.

        Of those listed above,
        Two are within .1 points of their polling. I’ll consider those spot on.

        Seven were .2 points (or more, sometimes a lot more) above what they polled at.

        Six were .2 points (or less, sometimes a lot less) below what they polled at.

        That’s… that’s pretty even.

        I’m not going to crunch what part of the map they’re on.Report

  6. Kimmi says:

    I’d ask about this… but wikileaks.Report

  7. Saul Degraw says:

    I thought the centrist banker was supposed to be the real hope to Le Pen.

    I don’t have much to add but you are probably right in the analysis.

    The Socialists shot themselves in the foot. I thought Fillon was too corrupt to get elected and that is what gave Le Pen the chance but now all eyes are on the inexperienced young guy who normally would not be given the time of day.

    When it comes to economic and quality of life issues, I am somewhere between France and the United StatesReport

  8. George Turner says:

    City-Journal article about France coming apart, with lots of parallels to Brexit and Trump.

    It’s a must read with valuable insights on some serious issues with both globalization, immigration, political correctness, the new urban elites, and class stratification.

    Instapundit linked it yesterday evening and many of his readers said it was the best linked article they’d read this year. It’s very long, but well worth it.Report

  9. pillsy says:

    Well, Trump’s doing what he can to help LePen, so that’s nice.Report

  10. Kazzy says:

    CNN reporting that LePen is coming in at almost 22% and Macron is in the lead with 24%, projecting them to advance to a run off. Fillon and Melenchon each got around 19%.

    Sooooo… what’s that all mean?Report

  11. pillsy says:

    Looks like Melanchon is refusing to either concede or endorse another candidate.


    • Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:



      • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

        Fortunately the swing the other way isn’t nearly so big.

        On the other hand, Melancon is still quite a jackhole.Report

      • PD Shaw in reply to Will Truman says:

        I’ve been watching a post-election debate among various left constituencies on France 24, in which it appears that everyone except the Melenchon representative believes he wants to leave Europe. I guess the response is he wants to use the threat of leaving the EU to gain concessions? Paging David Cameron . . .

        (The most provocative point was made by an outsider (American?) that Trump evidences that electing someone without electoral experience into partisan systems with entrenched bureaucracies is likely to result in no meaningful change, leaving great uncertainty about what the mood of the country will be after one term)Report

        • Kolohe in reply to PD Shaw says:

          Eh, again, it’s not the permanent bureaucracy thwarting Trump, and except for literally one nomination, it’s not partisanship.

          It’s just that Trump really has no idea what he actually wants. (I.e. how to ‘operationalize’ maga)Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Kolohe says:

            I agree that the reason Trump is ineffective isn’t due to deep state resistance. To repeat what I constantly repeat to my wife: Trump cannot accomplish devious Cheney-esque shifts in policy because he’s fundamentally (an) incompetent. The fact that he and the rumblin, bumblin, stumblin GOP have accomplished effectively zero of their campaign promises/proposals is actually good for the country, and may well be better in the short as well as long term than four years of Hillary.

            That’s not to say they won’t get their collective shit together soon and actually DO something, of course. Globalthermonuclearwar is always on the table with these guys.Report

            • Kolohe in reply to Stillwater says:

              It’s also important to note where Trump has been effective (even if, esp if, you don’t like he’s been been effective)

              1) Gorsuch on SCOTUS
              2) Sessions getting his agenda pushed forward
              3) (overlapping with 2) ICE & CBP ‘deep state’ off the leash.
              4) DoD not quite as much of the leash, but being given a lot of autonomy compared to what they had prior to Jan 20 2017.

              And that’s just off the top of my head.

              We still are waiting to see how the actual big picture budget, taxes and spending stuff shakes out. Even in a hyper competent administration, that wouldn’t have all come together yet. By statute, the timetable for much of that doesn’t start until right around now.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Kolohe says:

                I don’t give him any credit for Gorsuch. Whoever he nominated woulda been pushed thru.

                Sessions, ICE and Unleashing The Generals is just internal executive branch politics. Different strokes. So he doesn’t get any credit for that either.

                He hasn’t done shit except write some EOs rolling back Obama era prerogatives. IMHO, anyway.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Stillwater says:

                The deeds are done, are they not? And wouldn’t have been in a Clinton administration?Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Kolohe says:

                Sure, there’s a difference between a GOP and a Dem administration. And there’s a difference between a Trump and Clinton admin. But the way I’m reading it you want to give Trump credit for merely exercising the power attached to the office of the Presidency. I think that’s a mistaken conception of what the word “credit” means.

                In a very real sense, he hasn’t done shit. I mean, there isn’t even the vaguest suggestions that he’ll achieve any of his major campaign promises at this point. Or at least the ones he hasn’t flip-flopped on anyway.

                Hell, just this weekend Ryan was admonishing his House colleagues to abandon HCR and focus on the spending bill and tax reform, which runs exactly counter to what Trump said just the other day. He’s effectively got no control over anything that matters policy-wise right now.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kolohe says:

                I suppose it depends on what we are grading him on. He’s indeed checked some boxes on the ol’ To-Do list. Some big (Gorsuch), some small, some symbolic… but all pretty much low hanging fruit in terms of the degree of difficulty. He hasn’t shown much real ability — or willingness even — to govern or lead, which he’ll need to do to accomplish more and bigger things.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Kolohe says:

                Yeah. Mostly he seems to be floundering with his legislative agenda, because he really doesn’t have one, and Ryan doesn’t have enough control over (or unity in) his caucus to chart out a course on his own.

                Also, I don’t think it’s at all coincidental 1-4 all involve departments which are run by Secretaries who aren’t rando billionaires with no relevant experience. I loathe Sessions for what he stands for, but he knows the score, unlike (say) Tillerson.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to pillsy says:

                Sessions for all his faults is an experienced politician and knows how the machinery of government works. Tillerson and DeVos do not.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to LeeEsq says:

                DeVos…has been pretty quiet since that early foofarah visiting that school near the hq. That should be of concern if you don’t like her agenda.Report

              • notme in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Sure, in being CEO and dealing with all the different govts and foreign he’s had to deal with, you think he’s leaned nothing? Keep dreaming.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to notme says:

                And the worst case scenario for Tillerson is not that he’s bad at his job. The worst case scenario is that he’s good at his job but he is in fact way too cozy with Putin and/or still prioritizes interests of the ExxonMobil corporation over those of the United States Government.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

                The most likely scenario and the one supported by the evidence so far is that the State Department has some shortcomings as an organization that have been allowed to fester for decades, and Tillerson is both ideologically and tempermentally unsuited to deal with these shortcomings. Thus the whole apparatus is operating like it has a slipped clutch.Report

          • PD Shaw in reply to Kolohe says:

            I may not be conveying his points very well. This was a warning about the risks of an anti-establishment candidate like Macron. Without conventional party support he could easily become politically isolated, or fall back on conventional establishment support. If the outsider candidate is ineffective in delivering change, the bureaucracy will continue in a conventional, establishment manner. (He gave a French phrase for this) I think the larger point is the outsider’s failure may or may not inure to establishment benefit.Report

            • Kolohe in reply to PD Shaw says:

              I definitely think the dynamic you’re describing exists, and quite probably exists in France more than any place else on Earth, it’s just that Trump can’t be used as a guide post to anything, because he’s both the most sui generis thing that ever sui’d, and more fundamentally, he doesn’t give a fig about accomplishing anything – as that one article (politico I think) he’s perfectly content to take credit for the most nebulous and ephemeral of accomplishments.Report

  12. George Turner says:

    Le Pen is a shoe in because she’ll get almost all the French femme vote, since she has a vagina.

    Her election will also shatter the glass ceiling. This is a chance for the French to elect the first female president in their history.Report