Wednesday, January 27, 2016

"Parfois, résister c'est partir"

Christiane Taubira has resigned (or "been resigned," as they say in French). It is surprising that this didn't happen earlier, in view of her public opposition to the very unfortunate nationality stripping measure that Hollande wants to enshrine in the constitution. I stated my criticisms of this proposal earlier and expressed my surprise that a president could tolerate such open defiance. Now, as the amendment comes up for debate in the Assembly, she is going. Whether she left or was pushed out doesn't matter. She tweeted:

Parfois résister c'est rester, parfois résister c'est partir. Par fidélité à soi, à nous. Pour le dernier mot à l'éthique et au droit.ChT
She was the last minister truly de gauche, and with her departure the government now fully assumes its neoliberal, sécuritaire orientation. Taubira's replacement will be Jean-Jacques Urvoas, who is closely associated with what has been called "the French Patriot Act." Who in the audience at Hollande's 2012 campaign speech at Le Bourget would have thought we'd wind up here?

Taubira will be remembered primarily for the gay marriage bill, which she ably shepherded through the Assembly. The vicious attacks on her person by racists of the extreme right will also be remembered. The opposition branded her laxiste, and after the departure of Montebourg, Hamon, Filipetti, et cie. she stood as a symbol of a rapidly fading memory of a different and possibly imaginary Socialist Party. Her departure will make little difference to policy. Hollande and Valls had already set their course. Now we will see how well they have judged the political winds. My guess is, not well at all.