Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Summary of the Great Debate

Le Pen: You were minister of the economy, yet you insist that 2+2=4.
Macron: And you, Mme Le Pen, you would have our compatriots believe that 2+2=5.
Le Pen: (mocking laughter) Of course, M. Macron, and if you were not the servant of the lobbies and the banks, you would understand that 2+2 has always equaled 5.
Macron: (exasperated, attempting to remain understated) Let me explain to you, Mme Le Pen, why 2+2=4. Take these two fingers ...
Le Pen: How dare you, M. Macron, if you still have fingers, it's only because the radical Islamist jihadists whom you support, whom you invite to your meetings, whose endorsements you accept, have not yet cut them off ...
Macron (with exaggerated patience): Have you nothing to propose for the solution of the problem 2+2? How can that be, Mme Le Pen, after two years of campaign? Can it be because you are truly the heir of your father's party ...
Le Pen: When will you accept responsibility for the failure of M. Hollande, whom you served so abjectly ...
Macron: I will accept responsibility for what I did but not for what others did. Unlike you, I am indebted to no one ...
Le Pen: You deny, then, that you and Hollande are responsible for depriving the French of the extra unit that was theirs until you ceded it to Brussels and reduced 5 to 4?
Macron: Without our partners, Mme Le Pen, we could not even make 2+2 = 3.
Und so weiter.
Assez.
Now I must go explain all this to the good citizens of Houston.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

C ds l'air this afternoon said ' it shouldn't be boxing, it should be aikido'.

Anonymous said...

LePen 's Joker smile gave me the creeps.
(myos)

Alexandra Marshall said...

That was a horrorshow. Le Pen was atrocious. Her spiel on the two currencies was political malpractice. Her affect and smarmy sarcasm was literally grotesque. He committed many an error but it's like standing next to a nuclear meltdown with a flashlight. Ouf.

Elizabeth Jane Allen said...

Such a frustrating debate! I completely agree. Thank you for your continued commentary, it is well appreciated!

Robinson said...

I found her whole performance unappealing, but then I would, wouldn't I? Some of it I think was effective: "M. le Ministre," the joke about Merkel. Her effort to tie Macron to Hollande was to be expected, and probably the correct line of attack. She was surprisingly shaky on the economy in general and fatally bad on the Euro. I had expected her to be able to lie more convincingly, instead she hardly seemed to believe or even understand her nonsensical two-stage Euro withdrawal plan. It came out instead as the improvised nonsense that it is. If Macron hunkers down on this issue for the next few days all should be well, and MLP may well finish under 40%.

Anonymous said...

Macron was a technocrat, rather than a politician in his tactics during the debate. Notwithstanding, his tenacity may serve him well in the "legislatives", even if his intellectual precision didn't sweep the field. As we live in an age of overstatement and hyperbole, I found Macron's refusal to deviate from the facts comforting. That many might not have grasped the details is less important than his willingness to define himself candidly. He will sink or float based on his capacity to take what he articulated during the debate to a higher level. I think he's a "cool head", and he may well be bloody-minded enough to hold his own --which would be good for France and the French.

Gero von Randow said...

The did the Trump, therefore I believe she is still dangerous. He was the reasonable guy, knew his dossiers; she was all hate, colère and laughable - that's why many people might incline to her side, not to his.

Lapinot said...

It looks like he's been judged more convincing, and by a higher percentage than he's recently been given for the election. If this was her last chance to make significant inroads into his support she failed.

Massilian said...

Bad, bad, bad, badder than Godzilla, ugly, sleazy, rising from the sewers, grinning, lying, slimy, dirty, filthy, low, evil, spooky, grimacing, scary, nightmarish, contemptible, she gave her best show ever ! 20/20 !
That was the fight of her life, I doubt she will come back on the ring for a heavyweight final in 2022. Every serious candidate for a major political function should go through an ordeal like that and come out still standing.
I would like to know how Macron was prepared to remain so calm ! Good coach ! Nice blue pills !

Anonymous said...

Although it was at times unbearable and I had to turn the sound off, my general take is that LePen is a bully who doesn't know what she's talking about (confused phone company with Alsthom and muddied things further about the Euro), interrupts and sniggers, while Macron is cool under pressure, manages not to answer what he doesn't want to answer, and knows his stuff.
With the sound off I was *really* creeped out by that Joker smile and didn't expect it.
(myos)

Anonymous said...

Personal summary : LePen trolls Macron, Macron refuses to be trolled.
(myos)

brent said...

For those who find MLP and the FN reprehensible (and I'm one of them) it may be useful to separate one's own feelings from her actual performance. Is she awful? Yes. Did she make an effective case with her potential voters? A harder question. Some effective points: 1) Macron's is a soulless society where everything has a price and nothing has value. 2) Macron was heavily identified (including his pre-ministerial years) with the failed Hollande presidency and can't run away from that failure. 3) He's soft on terrorists, and won't even expel all those in the fichier S , legal rights be damned. 4) He loves Europe more than France. 5) His style of mergers and acquisitions, outsourcing and globalizing, lies at the root of France's employment problem.

On the other side, of course, are: 1) her bizarre 2-currency non-starter, 2) her defamatory linkage of Macron with Islamists (!), 3) her inflammatory hyperbole about the cost of immigration and 'clandestin' services, 4) her footsie-playing with anti-Semitism in the vel d'hiv controversy, 5) the contradictions in her protectionist economic 'program,' and much more.

My point? This was not Perseus vs. Medusa (despite resemblances), but an authentic confrontation between a shabby retrograde vision for France and a modern, technocratic but failed one. Like everyone else, I expect a large majority will cling to the latter as the safer choice, but it will be interesting to see how many will follow MLP, desperately, into the deep, murky waters of her fantasy-France. Here in the US, under quite similar terms, that number was about 45%.

Massilian said...

1) Macron's is a soulless society where everything has a price and nothing has value.
That is an easy, huge cliché and amalgame. You can hammer that of course. Same as : "Banker ! Banker ! Banker !".
2) Macron was heavily identified (including his pre-ministerial years) with the failed Hollande presidency and can't run away from that failure.
He wasn't running. He admitted participating and leaving. Can't bear the full bilan ! Didn't have a free hand. I accept that.
3) He's soft on terrorists, and won't even expel all those in the fichier S , legal rights be damned.
He ain't soft on terrorists. Clearly explained : Fichier S doesn't mean proven terrorist activity. It is just a surveillance fichier. A tool. Period. Made a good point about the vanity of border controls...So far most of the active terrorists in France were French or Europeens and free to move around.
4) He loves Europe more than France.
I think he loves France being in Europe and Europe. And France doesn't exist as such outside of Europe. These days are over. He made that clear. Gallic France is a legend. Won't come back ever. No alternative but improve Europe for the love of France.
5) His style of mergers and acquisitions, outsourcing and globalizing, lies at the root of France's employment problem.
"Style" ? Better than a trader anyway. He isn't Kerviel... M&A, outsourcing etc could be at the core, but not just that. That's the easy populist way of saying things. At the root of French employement problem are other sad causes, aging industry, poor r&d, low level of investment, poor competivity in many sectors, archaic management methods, weak unions...

I am not a Macron fan, I just feel in this context, the guy diserves a chance, the left has been wiped out, the right is cleaning the rubble. I liked Borloo's vision. Let's give Macron a hand and we'll see what happens. If he sucks, we'll resume fighting...
I hope MLP makes less than 40%...

Jeff Ravel (ravel@mit.edu) said...

Did either candidate express surprise that they have ben speaking prose their whole lives?