Sunday, May 7, 2017

First Thoughts

I discuss the results in a podcast with journalists Karin Pettersson of Sweden's Aftonbladet and Georg Diez of Germany's Der Spiegel. And I have a hot take in Foreign Affairs.

Macron's two speeches were excellent, but the big news is that Marine Le Pen will launch a new party and seek alliances--a frank admission that her plan to make the FN salonfähig has failed.

Baroin has gone straight into opposition with nary a kind word for Macron. The battle between him and Wauquiez for control of LR will be fierce and nasty, I predict.


bert said...


Francofou said...

In addition, we have reaffirmation of Salic law.

Mitch Guthman said...


Quite so. But are we missing something important? Both the decision to step aside and the selection of her successor seemed foolish and even self-destructive choices that were certain to undo in an instant all that MLP had worked for over a period of years. It seemed bizarre to me at the time but I thought that maybe there was some peculiarly French cultural reason why she stepped aside and I just couldn’t understand it—the choice of the lunatic Holocaust denier seemed crazy, too, but it also seemed plausible that there wasn’t a Maréchal Pétain handy to be the human face of these monsters and this guy was the best the FN had to offer.

With this new announcement by Marine Le Pen, I’m beginning to think that there’s more going on with the FN than meets the eye. I’m getting a vague sense that perhaps MLP’s lethargic and poorly organized campaign was the result of an ongoing struggle for power inside the party that began before the first round and that MLP’s was guided by the necessity of maintaining some semblance of party unity or perhaps she was too busy taking care of the family’s business to actually run for president. Now, I think perhaps she’s lost the struggle for power or sees the handwriting on the wall and wants to strike out on her own. It would explain a lot.

(As an aside, and going back to Art’s earlier post, this would also explain why MLP is leaving a well established brand that has provided her with a generous income and an extremely comfortable, even opulent, lifestyle—will she have to give up Montretout? Particularly since it would be absolutely absurd for her to open up basically the same line of business in competition with the rest of the Le Pen family and I doubt whether she could ever convincingly rebrand herself as a centrist or a right wingers in the Honest Fillion mold. Certainly, what Honest Fillion got in his whole political career wouldn’t cover the upkeep of Le Pen’s family palace for more than a weekend or two, so I don’t see how this is a good career move.)

Here is an interesting tidbit. This very short, somewhat humorous little gossipy piece was in the back of my mind until just now. I think maybe M. Geais was trying to convey a meaning that I totally missed).

Mitch Guthman said...

Sorry, for some reason the link didn't show up and I didn't proofread. Sorry.