As predicted, Jean-Luc Mélenchon has rejected further "negotiations" with Benoît Hamon, so what's left of the left will go into the general election divided. Instead of a Socialist Party and a nebulous formation to its left, we now have two versions of the suddenly popular "eco-socialist" strain of gauchisme, to one version of which the disintegrating Green party has now lent its feeble support.
One version of eco-socialism, Hamon's, envisions the end of work and the robotization of everything in a positive light, as a step toward the end of productivism and humble acceptance of whatever it takes to live in harmony with nature. The European Union will be persuaded to go along with this lenifying vision of a brighter tomorrow by the addition of an Upper Chamber, and everyone will dine out à la bonne franquette on their Universal Basic Income.
The other, Mélenchon's, will do away with the European Union, abolish unemployment within the well-protected borders of the Hexagon, and compensate for any loss of competitiveness with imports of cheap oil and gas supplied on friendly terms by the comrades in Venezuela and Russia.
On L'Emission politique the other night Mélenchon fiercely defended his saber-toothed version of eco-socialism against poor François Lenglet, who tried to illustrate the flaws of open-economy Keynesianism with a pair of Adidas sneakers. "They're a product of exploitation," Mélenchon snarled, skirting the point in his characteristic "the best defense is a barking offense" manner.
And so the contest for the number two slot and the right to contest the presidency with Mme Le Pen will pass by default to MM Macron and Fillon, the latter hauling after him a heavy cargo of casseroles from Penelopegate and the former frantically treading the water he formerly walked on before stumbling over a crime against humanity.
If the gods are smiling on France, one of the latter two will be its next president; otherwise, Trump's friend Jim may soon be returning to a Paris restored to the glory it enjoyed between June 1940 and June 1944.