Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Front National

It's been a while since I've written about the Front National, but Marine Le Pen has put the party she hopes to inherit from her father back on the front pages. Hers is a double discourse: on the one hand, she wants to know why, if Michel Drucker can invite Olivier Besancenot and Jean-Luc Mélenchon to join him on the red couch, she can't be invited too. Not that she really wants to exchange banalities with M. Drucker, but it seems that the perennial host has become the touchstone of legitimacy in French political life: if Drucker can invite you, you're not beyond the pale. Firebrands can demonstrate their charm and receive anointment from the unctuous Drucker.

But on the other hand, Marine wants to demonstrate to the party faithful that she has taken from her father his knack for provocation, so she has raised the issue of Muslim "prayer in the streets" and zones in which shari'a has allegedly supplanted the laws of the Republic. (Perhaps Mlle Le Pen would be interested to know that the state of Oklahoma, gripped by similar fantasies, has outlawed the enforcement of shari'a within its borders.)

For a lucid commentary on all this, see Romain Pigenel's blog.