Sunday, April 9, 2017

Marine and Marion Patch Things Up

When the party is a family business, family squabbles become political. But Marine and Marion have patched things up--or now. Still, this potential cleavage within the FN is one to watch, because the Marion faction--traditionalist, Catho, gay-unfriendly--is more compatible with the Fillon faction of LR than the more "modernist" Marine-Florian Philippot faction. The future recomposition of the right, if there is one, will depend on how this shakes out.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mlp just walked back chirac's historic (and historically accurate) admission that France conducted the ignominious veldhiv round up. If you walk in Paris you have plaques on schools listing how many little kids were taken then.
I can't imagine Jews - whom MLP had been assiduously courting - would let that go. I can't imagine what she was thinking since she's been at pains for years to dissociate herself in public and in speech from her father's antisemitism.
(myos)

Anonymous said...

MLP is clearly losing it . The vote should have occurred 3 months ago , as far as she's concerned. It can't happen too soon. She and Macron are losing steam fast, after their subpar debate performances (Macron never had steam. He was puffed up from the start) It's a 4-way race and anything is possible. I would expect the many undecideds to break towards the surging candidates: Fillon and Mélanchon.

Philippe

Alexandra Marshall said...

Myos, I just read Angelique Chrisafis's piece in the Guardian and I am agape. I am so tempted to say, OK, that's it, she's done, but then I remember only too well thinking the exact same thing of "grab them by the pussy."

Still, WHAT IS SHE THINKING?

Art Goldhammer said...

Alexandra, She's thinking of precisely that analogy. The best way to fire up her base in the final weeks is to provoke a general attack on her by all the bien pensant media and politicians. She must remain a pariah or become just another variant of the "establishment." This was not a slip but a calculation. Trump showed her how your must repulsive traits can serve as a mobilizing force.

bernard said...

It's like LBJ said: you can lie to some of the people all the time or you can lie to all the people some of the time but you can't lie to all the people all the time. The SozNat MLP needs to express herself truthfully some of the time. If anyone is surprised by MLP, I suggest they come off the kool-aid: hatred starts and ends with Jews, in fact Jews are the canary in the hatred mine. Anyone trying to sound sophisticated in this respect and split differences between the various Le Pens is actually a sorry idiot.

Anonymous said...

(BTW the news made the context clear. Basically, they said: France is responsible, all French people have known and acknowledged that for 20 years, wth ?? ")
Anybody who had been under the illusion this is a new National Front free from anti Semitic prejudice and ties to Vichy must have had a hard wake up call.
Myos

Anonymous said...

What does it mean to say that "France" is responsible for the crimes of the Vichy regime? Are the "United States" responsible for slavery and the genocide of native Americans? I am not about to defend MLP, but I fail to see how her comment should be interpreted as "anti-Semitic. There was an interview with Mitterrand shortly before his death in which he said more or less the same thing as MLP. I have heard respectable historians deplore this exploitation of the past for political purposes. Was Chirac justified in saying that Vichy forever tarnished (souiller) the honor of France?


"Le Pen later issued a statement saying: “Like Charles de Gaulle and François Mitterrand … [I consider that] France and the Republic were in London during the occupation”. She added that the Nazi-collaborationist Vichy regime “was not France”.

“This does not at all exonerate the actual personal responsibility of those French who took part in the vile Vel d’Hiv round-up and all the atrocities committed in that period,” she said. She went on to accuse her political opponents of exploiting her comments in a “disgraceful” way."

Anonymous said...

Apparently she provokes a small scandal, places herself in the line of 'fatigues de la repentance ' by Sarkozy and puts herself in the stead of de gaulle.
I guess she can try to do that because she is high the polls and feels the downsides will be few and far between even if the elites all scream bloody murder...?
Jean Lassalle, the mountains shepherd who thinks he is de gaulle 's heir, said 'it makes me sick' so it undercut that goal at least. Not sure how effective it'll be.
Interestingly the radio immediately analyzed it as a tactic to get attention.
(myos)

Anonymous said...

The tradition was to conveniently dissociate anything bad France did. Degaulle had to do it because he had to deal with a civil war, but the myth was just that and some were bitter about it.
You can't say "he's an upstanding citizen except for that one mass massacre ". Admission of guilt is the first step to reparation and respectability.
Yes, Vichy forever soiled France. We all carry our history and the only way to grow and be great is to accept responsibility for one's fault.
As a historian, Art likely has more thorough explanations.
(myos)

Anonymous said...

(To be clear : OF COURSE the US is responsible for slavery and Native American genocide.)

Alexandra Marshall said...

Art you make a good point. The analogy isn't perfect. Trump would much rather that comment was never unearthed. And it unleashed a fury. The women's march--a record turnout in DC and the nation--was the tip of that iceberg. The same middle aged women left traumatized after Trump's election showed how much our country disdains us and our concerns, are the vanguard (by a mile of opposition now. (Women in their 40s+ are making some outrageous majority of constituent calls now, YOU'RE WELCOME!)

The shared shame of Vichy is a different kind of problem. I don't imagine any but the most ardent facho would beat their chest over France's innocence. Maybe there's a sleeping giant of deplorables who are angry at anything that purports to apologize for France but to me this does not look like a base-growing move. She needs to suppress a lot of turnout for this strategy to make any sense to me.

Anonymous said...

You (anonymous) may "carry" your guilt all you like. I am not impressed by the confession of guilt by someone who has no reason to feel it (I confess I have never felt guilt for anything, only responsibility for my acts). Does it make you feel better to say France is guilty? There is no place for the notion of guilt outside the law. The notion of collective responsibility for past crimes is an absurdity. "France" is no more guilty for the crimes of anti-semitism, colonialism and Vichy than the US is guilty for slavery and the genocide of native Americans.




Lapinot said...

I’d have said that Trump’s comment was more like Fillon’s corruption in that many people dismiss the flaws of their candidate (the largest portion of white women voted for Trump and Fillon is the standard bearer of the moral right). Politics becomes tribal rather than rational.

Le Pen’s comment, on the other hand, was deliberate. Unless she’s lost her mind.

Disagreeing with her doesn’t mean that French people should feel guilt, any more than Americans should feel guilt for the USA’s failure to help Jewish refugees. It’s just a reasonable acknowledgement of the errors and failures of the past, in the same way that one might look with pride on the achievements of Cezanne and Proust. There’s nothing personal about it.

Anonymous said...

@Lapinot

Obviously, there is no reason for "French people" to feel guilt, any more than there is reason for "France" to feel guilt about what happened between 1940 and 1944. The first statement is as meaningless as the second. Guilt is individual. MLP would be less inclined to make such statements if the teaching of history were more nuanced. The same goes, mutatis mutandis, for the United States.

brent said...

As an American I don't feel 'guilt' for public events, especially ones long before my time. But I am aware of the moral failure and national disgrace of slavery and genocide on which our nation was founded. And I notice that the people who deny that disgrace are more likely to inflict it on Black Americans, Muslims, immigrants, and others outside the White tent today.

Does this apply to France? Does a failure to acknowledge Vichy and collaboration as facts in France's history (not some other thing disguised as France, but France) make it easier today to deny the Frenchness of immigrants, Muslims, and perhaps someday again, Jews? Not being French, I can't answer that, but Le Pen has an obligation to explain why her remarks are not a perpetuation of that VIchy syndrome.

Anonymous said...

@brent

Who refuses to acknowledge Vichy and collaboration? There have been few periods of French history more discussed and written about than WW II and Vichy, including the deportations of Jews, postwar "purges" and trials of collaborators. But the teaching of history in France and elsewhere has become a kind of litany of blame---racism, imperialism, exploitation, genocide---endlessly recited by the left. That is not history, it is religion. I am not surprised that it provokes an allergic reaction on the right.

Lapinot said...

I don't entirely disagree with that. There is a tendency among all sections of politics to reduce beliefs to a litany, and there's a part of the left in which the litany like that you describe. It's not useful or accurate and it can provoke a reaction as you say.

(It also, ironically, places them at the centre of history, acting on their largely passive victims, which is surely not their intention.)

But the fact something is a reaction doesn't mean that it's reasonable. History's full of idiotic reactions.

Anonymous said...

What you're talking about bears no semblance to the teaching of history in France. You're speechifying not using anything concrete. If anything, the teaching of history in France is curiously traditional, what in the 90's used to be called 'white dead males'.
Look at APUSH, or even KS3/KS4.
It's not about feeling bad (guilty). It's about acknowledging wrongs, that no country is perfect and should not be lived because of perfection*, that it is better for the recognition of its flaws and crimes, as doing so pushes the country to do better.


* honestly I find the idea of the 'perfect country' history very childish, similar to children who believe mommy and daddy are perfect and awesome. It's only through recognizing their humanity and thus frailties that children grow up and can fully appreciate their parents.

Anonymous said...

I was replying to anonymous' reply to Brent. The 'speechifying' refered to the 'litany of blame '.

Anonymous said...

Thank you anonymous for correcting me. Perhaps you should how to read English before spouting idiocies. Where did I say that history must teach that a country is perfect?

Anonymous said...

Added: The fact that you think that the teaching of history in France can be characterized by the platitude "dead white males" reveals sufficiently that you do not know what you are talking about

brent said...

@ anonymous: "Who refuses to acknowledge Vichy and collaboration?"
To answer your question, Marine Le Pen, who is denying that 'Vichy' and all it represents is a part of "France" (her term) or French history. By implication her core supporters, amounting to perhaps 25% of the French electorate, would seem to be sympathetic to this point of view. This seems to me to be a not inconsiderable problem. If the teaching of dark moments in French history--collaboration, colonialism, racism--is understood as a corrective, then perhaps the evidence would suggest, not that more of this corrective, not less, is needed. Or perhaps the problem is that what in America we call "Facing History and Ourselves" has been disparaged and neutralized by a French Right that overtly (FN) or covertly (LR etc.) would like to promote a false national--and nationalist-- narrative.

Art Goldhammer said...

Brent, I don't see it quite the way you do. Le Pen was quite explicit in condemning Vichy and le rafle. She contends, rather, that Vichy was not France and that France was in London, with de Gaulle. Now, you might regard this as a quite flabbergasting view of history for the leader of a party in certain respects descended from Vichy, as Henry Rousso argues in the excellent essay to which I link in another post. But still, that is her explicit view. So what is she up to with this provocation? I believe she intends to shore up her base, which dislikes being asked to assume guilt for events long in the past for which they feel no responsibility. Should "France" apologize for the September massacres or St. Bartholomew's Day? Who cares? But make it the Vél' d'Hiv', and suddenly it's a live issue, on which there are politically correct and incorrect phrasings. Le Pen, knowing this, used the occasion to rile up les bien-pensants, just as Donald Trump did. I think the best policy is not to rise to the bait and have another useless debate about the semantics of the signifier "France." Challenge Le Pen on her conception of the state today rather than on the contentious issue of the degree to which the people are responsible for what their state does, particularly under conditions of occupation.