Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Hollande Retreats Again

PMA--medically assisted procreation. You wouldn't think that would be such a big deal to offer the "social left" as consolation for the Responsibility Pact. You wouldn't think that another Manif' pour Tous could frighten the head of state enough to back off a reasonable measure that actually means a lot to some of his constituents. But that wouldn't be to reckon with the strange political calculus of François Hollande, who, with an approval rating hovering around 25%, figures it's better to tick off his core supporters than to add another twig to the stack of wood piled around the stake at which the reactionaries would like to burn him. Here's the way Le Monde describes it:
La vérité est autre. François Hollande, peut-être parce qu'il a personnellement éprouvé ces derniers mois le déplaisir des sifflets et des huées, se révèle de plus en plus sensible aux protestations de la rue. Avec le mariage pour tous, le candidat de « l'apaisement » avait échoué, au printemps 2013, à devenir le président du « rassemblement ». On l'a vu, à l'automne, plus prompt à céder aux revendications des manifestants, ainsi sur l'écotaxe face aux « bonnets rouges » ou sur le cas Leonarda face aux lycéens. Pourquoi donc risquer une crispation supplémentaire de l'électorat conservateur agrémentée de polémiques internes à la majorité ?
A real profile in courage.


Siegfried said...

Comparing the Manif pour Tous protests with the dozen of Parisian high schools blocked by some lefty syndicates and students too happy to find there an opportunity for doing nothing during a whole day, taking advantage of Leonarda, won't raise the reputation of Le Monde...

Anyway, it's still good news to see that France is not yet a nation where we can build some children to intentionnally separate them from their fathers !

Anonymous said...

Martine Aubry had him sussed in 2011 when she told Nouvel Obs Jun 30: "il n'a aucune epine dorsale, il manque de caractere"

Mitch Guthman said...


I don’t disagree with your overall analysis except my guess is that Hollande is trying to attract a new group of core supporters on the assumption his only hope is if he somehow can stagger into the second round again MLP. Then, it will be the center-right and Gaullists that will decide the election since they are naturally closer in belief to her and will need to be wooed, while the left will have no alternative given that MLP is seen as the devil incarnate by most of the left.

I think that’s his logic and it’s what’s been driving all his policy decisions since it became clear that MLP is the only candidate against whom he has a prayer. So everything is geared to push her to the top and then hope for another “grand mouvement” from the left again a Le Pen.

I would, however, gently question why the enactment of good policies that are desired by most people and, indeed, benefit all people irrespective of political persuasions would be seen as something “to offer the ‘social left’ as consolation for the Responsibility Pact”. Surely Hollande’s infertile conservative constituents want to procreate as much as infertile leftists do?

But, yes, this is exactly what I would have expected from President Flamby. Indubitablement!

Mitch Guthman said...

My guess is that the PS's electoral prospects and France's future wouldn't be nearly so bleak had the dinosaurs used better, less sexist judgment in choosing a candidate to run against Sarkozy.

This is a mistake the PS is apparently determined to repeat. If the PS had any gumption (or some kind of a political survival imperative) they would dump Hollande the way the Conservatives gave the Wicked Witch the boot.

The PS should dump President Flanby and run Martine Aubry on a platform of doing whatever it takes to put France back to work.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of retreats, the government is apparently proceeding to "censure" the word "genre" (gender) in educational textbooks: