Monday, January 31, 2011

Another Debate

Valls-Mélenchon. As always, the longer a candidate's chances, the more willing he or she is to debate. I haven't had a chance to listen to this yet. Could be interesting.

Later: Well, I did just listen to the exchange on the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. "Dégage!" say the demonstrators. Elkabbach puts it to the debaters: Who must go?

Valls skirts the question: We must be prudent, the Muslim Brothers are waiting in the wings, it does no good for Mubarak to go if democracy does not follow, etc.

Mélenchon attempts an even more artful dodge: The revolution is coming here too, we have our own Ben Ali, "la bande à Fouquet's," etc.

And there you have the problem with so much "political debate": it's so easy to bandy about opinions (I apply this stricture to myself), so difficult to take decisions with real consequences. From this exchange, I conclude that Valls would do what Sarkozy is doing--attentisme prudent. No surprise there. What is perhaps surprising is that Mélenchon would do the same thing (though he doesn't say so) on the grounds that some day "the revolution" will take care of all our problems. No need to have a foreign policy, then: what happens elsewhere is only the precursor of the reckoning to come here. "Qu'ils s'en aillent tous." Come the millennium, le bon peuple will govern. D'ici là, best to install the Ultimate Revolution's vicar on earth, Jean-Luc Mélenchon. This is what passes for radical laïcité chez le Parti de Gauche. Aron said that Marxism was the opium of the intellectuals. Not any more. Now it's le révolutionnisme sans l'analyse qui est l'opium du Pape populiste.

Good News, Bad News

The good news is that he doesn't have Alzheimer's. The bad news is that he will have to stand trial as scheduled. The bearer of the news is the interested party's wife, Bernadette Chirac. He's often impatient, she adds, but in her case there's nothing new about that.