To listen to M. Mélenchon on the stump, you'd think he was the reincarnation of l'Ami du peuple, Jean-Paul Marat. "We are a revolutionary party," he says. But when you compare his program to Hollande's, you find not a call to carry heads about on pikes but rather a demand that the "golden rule" treaty be submitted to a referendum vote. The rhetorical surenchère has paid big dividends, however.
It's also worth noting that another of Mélenchon's major planks, a promise to increase the SMIC from 1398 to 1700 euros on day one of his presidency, is quite similar to Ségolène Royal's promise regarding the SMIC in 2007. At the time, Royal was dismissed as daft by the center and as a partisan of the "Blairist third way" by the extreme left. Yet Mélenchon can recycle the same proposal and come off as both a "revolutionary" and a "tribune of the people."
There's nothing fair about political judgments.