Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mélenchon and the Communists

What do Communists think of Mélenchon, whom the party leadership supports for the presidency? According to Mediapart, the rank and file are less enthusiastic, not because they have anything in particular against Mélenchon or his program but because they fear that the PCF will finally be swallowed by the Parti de Gauche. Many would prefer to see André Chassaigne as their candidate. I confess that I've never seen Chassaigne, which only confirms Mediapart's assertion that he has failed to "penetrate the media wall." Mélenchon, whatever else you may think of him, "gives good press," and especially good TV: he fills the media's need for a leader of the extreme left who is either scowling and irascible, like Georges Marchais, or surprisingly radiant and well-spoken, like Olivier Besancenot. Mélenchon can be both, hence he is the perfect gauchiste médiatique.

Lest you think that the rank and file might prefer Chassaigne because he's an authentic son of the working class, a cheminot or steelworker or something of that sort, no, I'm afraid that his pre-political career was spent as a teacher of literature, history, and geography. Mélenchon has a licence in philosophy.

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