Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What a Mess

Just when it seemed as though  the Socialists had caught a break, they managed to turn it into another disaster. The judges had been eavesdropping on Sarkozy and his lawyer in regard to a case of influence peddling. How could that possibly damage the Socialists? Well, for starters, the minister of justice, Christiane Taubira, lied about having been informed about the wiretaps by the police--as she had required them to do under general rules she herself laid down at the beginning of her term. There was no reason for this lie. It was perfectly proper for her to be informed of the existence of the taps, which had been initiated by independent judges. She was not, as far as we know, informed of the content. So the right course was to say she knew. But she didn't. Now the whole case is so muddied and tainted that Sarkozy will probably get off yet again, assuming he did what  he's alleged to have done.

What a mess. And who is most likely to benefit from this imbroglio? The Front National, of course.

8 comments:

Massilian said...

In my opinion it is far worse than a mess. It is a complete disaster. Valls lied, and I am nor surprised no shocked. Eyrault most certainly lied too. I hardly care. But Taubira ! The one person in this government that I would have faught for "bec et ongle". The Garde des Sceaux, she lied for the dumbest most stupid reason : ie no reason at all. The government is the victim of it own stupidity. Copé wasn't any more clever than his usual and so predictable perverted intelligence. The UMP hounds are unbearable but the socialists (and the government) are plain hopeless. This is a total collapse.

Anonymous said...

@Massilian: Also known as the 1812 overture.."The Russian people responded en masse, gathering in churches all across the Empire and offering their heartfelt prayers for divine intervention". (Replace Russian with French and Empire with land!)

Mitch Guthman said...

Art,

I think Sarkozy is the only real winner. I think there is very little, perhaps nothing, that the leadership of the PS could do to further lower themselves in the estimation of the French people. Ultimately a second term for Hollande depends entirely on his being the lesser evil in the binary choice of the second round (assuming he gets to the second round, which is daily looking more and more like a near run thing).

My assessment is that MLP is the only conceivable opponent he might be able to beat and then only if the FN remains so unacceptable that Hollande can be the beneficiary of a republican front by essentially all the other parties of the left, center, center-right and the remaining Gaullists. If there’s no republican front, Hollande will probably be defeated by MLP in the second round. This would be so disastrous for France that I do not understand why Hollande and his senior ministers do not leave public life and allow the PS to choose a better candidate to represent the left.

For, MLP, I think it's actually a push. On the one hand, more ineptitude and advocacy of austerity by Hollande will rebound strongly in her favor. Likewise, any disarray and infighting in the other parties can only increase the willingness of voters to take a chance on the FN because it is, inexplicably, the only major political party whose economic policies are not based on liquidationism. Taking France out of the euro is not only a good idea but is growing in popularity.

On the other hand, depending on how he positions himself before the first round, I think Sarkozy is clearly the most formidable opponent against MLP in the second round. He could arguably begin to make amends for legitimizing the FN and broaden his support by pledging his support for a republican front when he announces his candidacy. He has the most room to run to the left much as only Nixon could go to China. If the UMP is to occupy one of the slots in the runoff, he is the least evil of the possible UMP candidates or, at any rate, the better known devil among a bad lot.

It is astonishing that we haven’t had a serious revolt among the PS grass roots and second tier leadership. How can a party of the left take Mellon’s admonition to “liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate farmers, liquidate real estate…” as a blueprint for its economic policies in a time of depression? Surely even in a party where a faceless man of the center-right can rise to the leadership, there must be limits to how far to the right he can take the party before it rises up against him?

Cincinna said...

Mitch, I agree. With the revelations this morning from the AP that 'FRENCH COURT BLOCKS SECRET RECORDINGS OF SARKOZY' the only winner is Sarko and the big loser is Hollande, the PS, especially those like Taubira, Valls, and others who flat out lied when they all knew last year that the former president, his wife, and staff were being wire tapped. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_FRANCE_SECRET_RECORDINGS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-03-14-07-51-28
The entire affair of judicial over reach, warrantless wiretaps and knowledge of such, is looking more Nixonian by the day. What happened to the principal of the secrecy of judicial inquiries? ("violation du secret de l'instruction")
IOW, who ordered it, and "what did the President know, and when did he know it?"
I don't know enough about the French legal system to comment on the slap on the wrist and fine for Buisson.
It seems to me this could be the tip of an iceberg, and even though Hollande is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic in his flailing government, we might be witnessing a major crash, a tectonic shift in French politics, and the end of the Socialist Party in France.

Mitch Guthman said...

@ Cincinna,

I think it’s far too early to say whether Sarkozy is out of legal jeopardy. The disclosure of the wiretap seems legally meaningless. Likewise, the clumsiness of Taubira and the the oiliness of Valle changes nothing of importance politically or legally. Apparently, at least some and conceivably all of the many, many affaires of the Sarkozy years remain under investigation by the judiciary; and it is they who will probably decide Sarkozy’s future.

Beyond that, I am baffled that you attribute the release of the Buisson tapes to Hollande. I think the most likely culprit is the completely obvious one, namely, Buisson himself. He is a long-time man of the extreme right, the tapes were published in a muckraking magazine not connected to the left and on a conservative website. Buisson has no known connection to the PS.

It isn't even a question of connecting the dots; you don't have any dots to connect.

Cincinna said...

@Mitch Guthman,
Nicolas Sarkozy sur sa mise sur écoute : "Qui d'autre que Hollande peut tirer les ficelles ?" - RTL.fr

http://www.rtl.fr/actualites/info/politique/article/nicolas-sarkozy-sur-sa-mise-sur-ecoute-qui-d-autre-que-hollande-peut-tirer-les-ficelles-7770499492

From my belle sœur , une avocate à la barre de Paris, who has been keeping me informed about the uproar in the legal community. She tells me tells me that the best lawyers are coming to the Bar to remind them of the rights of the defense and demanding a reform of the law. Are you aware that in France, a juge d'instruction can place someone under indefinite surveillance, including conversations between lawyer and client, until the judge can find a motive to pursue him legally. Very disturbing. Most people oppose this unlimited judicial power, especially involving conversations between husband and wife, and lawyer client. and it has given Sarkozy a little extra boost in popularity. Thanks to Mme Taubira, an extremely controversial and unpopular figure in France.
Buisson has gone rogue, perhaps in collusion with the FN against a common enemy, but the decision, and the green light for Mme Taubira would have had to come from on high, from Hollande himself.


Anonymous said...

This just reported by Europe1:

The evidence is there, according to Europe1 that François Hollande is behind the surveillance of Nicolas Sarkozy, and the leaking of the tapes to Le Monde.
On the day of the publication of the article in Le Monde about the surveillance, Hollande's official agenda shows that he met with the authors of the article

François Hollande a reçu les auteurs de l'article sur les écoutes de Nicolas Sarkozy, le jour de sa publication

http://lelab.europe1.fr/Francois-Hollande-a-recu-les-auteurs-de-l-article-sur-les-ecoutes-de-Nicolas-Sarkozy-le-jour-de-sa-publication-13425

Cincinna said...

N. Sarkozy speaks out (in writing) for the first time since leaving office.
A commentary well worth reading in full. He specifically deals with Taubira and Valls.

Nicolas Sarkozy s'adresse aux Français
Pour sa première grande intervention depuis la présidentielle de 2012, l'ancien président répond, dans une tribune au Figaro, aux attaques dont il est la cible.

http://www.lefigaro.fr/politique/2014/03/20/01002-20140320ARTFIG00296-exclusif-le-figaro-nicolas-sarkozy-s-adresse-aux-francais.php#xtor=AL-155