Wednesday, October 19, 2011
The UMP met yesterday to try to take back the news cycle from the Socialists, who have enjoyed a media windfall out of their primary. The main line of attack seemed to be Socialists = tax+spend, the familiar mantra of right-wingers everywhere but particularly ill-conceived after 9 years of uninterrupted UMP rule (despite the UMP tote-board adding up the alleged cost of Socialist policy in bright lights). What is more, Sarkozy is in the midst of negotiating with Merkel a European bailout plan, the success of which will depend on persuading governments and markets that debt and deficit limitations will this time be taken seriously, yet here is his party saying that international constraints do not matter, domestic politics will drive the outcome, and if the Socialists are elected they will ignore constraints that Sarkozy wants market actors to believe no government can ignore. The internal contradiction of this attack should make an easy target for Hollande. Le Monde is withering.