Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Strange Things

Strange things are happening in France and in my blog. The revision to the Constitution passed by one vote, and the Socialists are blaming poor Jack Lang, the only Socialist to vote in favor of a text he had a hand in drafting. If he were to be excluded from the party now, as some are threatening, the PS will have reached a nadir in its decline. It didn't exclude him when he accepted the post, presumably because he was too popular and powerful a figure to be summarily purged. He stated clearly that, while the proposed revision was, from his point of view, imperfect, it nevertheless included many measures that Socialists had long wanted, such as removal of the president of the Republic from ex officio membership of the Conseil Supérieur de la Magistrature. He said, rightly, that it would be intellectually inconsistent and dishonest to vote against the measure proposed by the commission on which he sat. It would be a pure act of vengeance to expel him from the party now, however great the disappointment over the loss to Sarkozy. But it was the PS that politicized the revision by insisting on party discipline in a vote that should have been left to the consciences of individual members. The whipped vote made the contest a test of strength with the president rather than a weighing of the good and the bad in the constitutional reform. This was wrong on principle, and it was also tactically stupid to engage in such a test of strength without having accurately counted the votes. So the PS has already two strikes against it; if it expels Lang, it will strike out. For intelligent comment on the content of the reforms, see here.

As for the strange things happening in my blog, I have been hit by a Chinese "comment spammer" who has been depositing hundreds of ads in the comments section. I have therefore turned on "word art" protection against robotic spamming. I hope it works. I've deleted some of this garbage, but I'm on vacation and don't have time to do this systematically, so my apologies if you stumble across any of this word salad.