Friday, May 5, 2017

The Macron E-Mail Hack

Relax, people. He's 22 points ahead, he does not have Clinton's baggage, France knows all about campaign skullduggery, and what has immediately been denounced on all sides as foul play will probably add to his vote total rather than subtract from it. Le Pen's appointment of a Holocaust denier as interim head of the party, her reversals on Frexit and the euro, her savagery and psychotic smile in the debate--all these things have reminded people of what 6 years of "de-demonization" had been intended to make them forget, that the FN is not a party like the others. 

It's over. Macron has won. Non passaran. Salvation is at hand. And then what? It's back up the mountain for Sisyphus.


Thomas Brunkard said...

I hope you're right and those Russian mercenaries that worked so hard to liberate said emails are left disappointed.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Art : this Russian interference is more likely to help Macron. French voters will be intent on making sure they don't become poutine 's pawns.
There was an interesting article about how the American alt-right tried to derail the campaign and, having zero understanding in cross cultural communication, French cultural references, etc, went nowhere at best. For example, they used Pepe the frog, not realizing he looked like an insult to French people (frog = insulting way to call a French person, akin to offensive terms you can imagine. On top of it he's a he for use grenouille which always confused the French even if they know nouns don't have gender in English, and he's ugly.)
Lots of people were indeed reminded of LePen's heritage and what baggage it carries.
So now they'll be reminded of Vladimir Putin. While the extreme right looks fondly at his 'muscled ' way to rule, the vast majority French people at best despise and fear him.
So voting for Macron will become voting for French independence - or, if you worry about Europe, at least Europe's better than Russia.
They acted as soon as the 'silence ' rule was declared BTW. I'm guessing they think no one will be allowed to react publicly and people will want to read the documents without interrupting analyses from French media. Then what exactly?? Parse through them and decide to vote Lepen or abstain?...
Right now, people are all campaigned out. They want it over already.
I'm willing to bet the opposite will happen - they miscalculated again and shot themselves in the foot (like when they called him 'bi', instantly making him exciting and cool in the eyes of many people, improving his image of being a bit cold and aloof.)
If you want to work in intelligence, get a degree in history/culture/society/cross cultural communication.

Anonymous said...

Macron's got it vs. Le Pen: no danger there. I have to admit that I am not totally confident that he is lily-white. The majority of UMP men always stuck me as crooks: can you imagine buying a car from Copé? Or Baroin or Wauquiez? Or Sarko? Fillion was one of the few who wasn't obviously corrupt. The socialists are slightly less bad than the ex-UMP, although thanks to DSK you imagine their personal lives having a certain resemblance to the late Roman Empire.

I cynically imagine that there is at lest some dirt to be dug up on Macron, and I am doubt that if he has any secrets they will not stay hidden.

Massilian said...

Regarding Sisyphus. I am reading the correspondance between Albert Camus and René Char and in a letter to Camus dated October 1947, Char writes, quoting Camus: " "Il faut imaginer Sisyphe heureux." Oui, c'est cela. Cette phrase donne à respirer, donne à prendre. Voilà notre oreiller pour gens actifs. Revenir de tout l'avenir au présent et le garnir de son espoir même jamais réalisé."
I liked that very much, I never considered Sisyphus could be happy, yes indeed this sentence "donne à respirer !"
And I liked very much when Eric Fottorino stated the obvious, " who Macron was, is irrelevent, what matters is who Macron will be starting May 8th, and he is smart enough to know, he will be different."

Anonymous said...

Interestingly F2 didn't mention the 'leaks ' at all in the news.

Massilian said...

They can't. It is "silence radio" on all electoral matters until sunday 8 pm.

Anonymous said...

But it was mentioned on the radio - not quoting either party's reaction but rather something like ' EM 's campaign was hacked, humongous numbers of emails have been posted online, they filed an official complaint, the commission in charge of democratic infractions is investigating her these take a while, this reminds us of the US election's attempts, we want to remind people any attempt at disturbing an election by repeating lies or distributing false materials means jail time '.

Bernard said...

The hackers miscalculated indeed. This will propell E.Macron to a landslide at 64 to 65, up 1 to 2 points from where he is now.
Putin also (?) miscalculated and supported the wrong horse. Relations may be frosty from day 1 as payback.
MMLP will oust her dear aunt at the earliest opportunity at the top of the SozNat. It is always good news when fascists kill each other. It is just so amusing when so many people thought MLP was skilled. I always thought she was as bad as her father but without the capacity to speak in full sentences.
Further she will be facing the music for her various crimes: European parliament, defamation etc and her boys will answer for the hack.

Anonymous said...

Le Pen had only one possible strategy left: drive down Macron's turnout while feeding red meat to her own base. Only if mass abstentions occur among Macron's voters and Le Pen's base is energized could she win. That dictated her decision to turn the debate into a vicious shouting match, to drag Macron down into the mud and just make people sick of the whole campaign and fed up with politics in general.

It might yet work.

The French election laws on media blackouts are archaic and unsuited for dealing with online media. Macron barely made the deadline for issuing a last statement; if he'd missed it by a few minutes, he would not have been able to rebut the hack attacks.

Furthermore, the Internet is global and doesn't have to obey French law. The blackout doesn't stop foreigners from continuing to electioneer on Twitter, even if officially French users cannot do so. Social media activity over the next day will have great influence over last-minute voter turnout. That favors Le Pen since her followers are much more active.

Obama issued a video endorsing Macron. However, there was a crucial mistake in the French subtitles: "liberal values" was translated as "valeurs liberaux," which I understand means "free-market values," not "liberal" in the US sense of being "progressive."

This seemingly trivial mistake could have grave consequences. Le Pen has accused Macron of being a creature of global finance capital--to have the former American president praise him as a champion of "free-market values" will confirm the fears of all the Mélenchon voters who are tempted to cast a blank ballot to protest against "capitalist hegemony."

Anonymous said...

The Anonymous family is so large, I confuse all of you. How about numbers ?
One point is worth giving a thought, how to protect democracy from the internet, mainly from the social media steady flow of bullshit and fake news until you drop your bulletin oand later drop dead.
I am not very happy with the perspective of 24/24 & 365/365 real time Google universal polls in 2022, that you won't be able to disconnect from the enhanced reality mandatory chip inserted in your brain.

Alexandra Marshall said...

Oh the alt right has been so idiotic in this election. The French people's extra-gooey love of the French language wins the day! I adore how 1/4 of the comments sections of most French newspapers are devoted to grammar correcting. As a non-native speaker, you cannot imagine the lessons I endure from my in-laws. (Except you probably could.) These pepe trolls thought they could step to a country schooled in this education system, and use their language, badly? And think they'd win a culture war? HAHAHA HOHOHO HEHEHE.

Agreed entirely with Bernard on MLP. I have never seen the skill and MMLP is coming for her fast. Can someone please do a miniseries on this family? Netflix? Allo?

bernard said...

@alexandra marshall

There is a film, already for some time. It's called "les sept salopards". LOL

Alexandra Marshall said...

ooh thank you, i shall look it up.

Anonymous said...

Actually I read 'valeurs progressistes' in the subtitles so it should be okay. And anyway he's Obama, who's adored here. He could speak pig Latin :).
Also, Macron spoke to the left on Friday when he accepted to be grilled by Mediapart. That takes guts, these guys are hard charging professionals.
I'd say Macron will score 64 to 66 :)

Mitch Guthman said...

I agree with Anonymous and I would like to make a small request of my fellow commentators who wish to remain anonymous.

Would it be possible for the anonymouses to differentiate themselves by appending a pseudonym at the bottom of each comment. It can be very difficult and takes too much time to know who is responding to that.

I thank you.

Mitch Guthman said...

Anonymous at May 6, 2017 at 12:30 PM,

I didn’t watch the debate, at all. What was the point? The election was basically over long before then. A single act of guerrilla theater and a screaming match on television does not a winning campaign make.

I would also disagree somewhat about the possible strategies available to MLP. It would not be a viable strategy to throw red meat to her base. The election is one-person-one-vote and her base in the FN and the extreme right is too small---to win, she would have needed to pick off a considerable number of voters of either the right or the left. But, evidently, she couldn’t be bothered.

Over the years, I’ve argued that MLP could win despite her astronomically high negatives by making the general election a referendum on things like the EU, or austerity, or the failings of the technocratic political class, and so forth. More specifically, by focusing the spotlight on the deficiencies of her opponent and making him a proxy for Europe, austerity and the changes in France caused by immigration and globalization. This would allow her to greatly expand her base and sidestep both her own negatives and, equally important, the immense baggage she’s carrying because of her heritage.

Under my analysis, Macron would be the weakest possible candidate against her. Fortunately, MLP choose instead to run as herself (instead of as a placeholder for everything good about France) and she ran a campaign so inept as to be nonexistent, except for the occasional own goal. Aside from anything else, she seemed, astonishingly, not to grasp how short the time frame for a French general election is compared to an American one.

MLP acted as if she was the inevitable one who didn’t have to campaign, which, obviously, was exactly ass-backwards since whoever faced her in the second round would begin as an overwhelming favorite. Even though Macron was obviously far ahead coming out of the first round, MLP never challenged him, never forced him to defend Hollande’s bilan or to distinguish himself from it, and he was never forced to explain what he would do regarding austerity and the EU if he became president.

France has been saved from calamity by the complete and utter incompetence of Marine Le Pen as a political candidate. And she should be forced to confront that record when she returns to her regular job as a political performance artist.

Mitch Guthman said...

I apologize for another comment in a row but I was distracted by the exciting but depressing finish to the América vs Pachuca game and didn’t express myself clearly. I would like to briefly clarify two points about my previous comment:

First, a point I tried to make but didn’t do a very good job of is that throwing red meat to the extreme right base and driving down Macron’s turnout or increasing the number of blank ballots are inconsistent. The more that she plays to her base, the more that MLP will terrify everybody else into voting for Macron and the harder it will be for her to exploit the deep lack of trust in the French political class.

In particular, she needed to move as many “people of the left” from being unhappy with Macron but resignedly casting ballots against the ancestral enemy to being willing to stay home. To do that, MLP needed to drive a real wedge between the left and Macron by highlighting his neoliberal views, his association with laws that harmed workers and unions and his ties to Hollande. Mechanically, that meant keeping in the background while the media coverage focused on what was wrong with Macron rather than what was wrong with Le Pen.

Second, she could have driven down Macron’s totals by exploiting the very widespread lack of trust in the French political system and the extreme lack of trust in the political class that’s showing in in poll after poll. As the unemployment has remained high, terrorism has increased and been largely tied to immigrants, and the refugee crisis has worsened, people has lost faith in the government and they’re feel betrayed.

A lot of this distrust is being manifested in the “vote blanc” and those numbers are up in every election. But it seems likely that Le Pen will actually reduce the “vote blanc” significantly by foolishly focusing attention throughout the campaign on her own defects and incompetence. If she’d been in the background with her slightly softer image while Macron spent the entire campaign being grilled on specifics, people might say “it doesn’t matter if I vote—MLP isn't a monster and at least she’ll make the trains run on time”.

But by appointing as her successor a man who reminded everyone about the trolls and monsters in the FN’s attic, MLP essentially re-demonized herself. And then, by renouncing her two key economic proposals, Le Pen made it quite clear to everyone that the trains probably wouldn’t be running on time and actually might not be running at all during a MLP presidency.

Kevin said...

I agree with Mitch Guthman. I expected that a seasoned politician like Le Pen would have a more sophisticated strategy. As much as I like Macron, he is a vulnerable candidate. I doubt if she could have won regardless but she could have set herself up nicely for five years down the road. If Le Pen, as some have argued, was playing the long game, she played it poorly.

Anonymous said...

Lol moment : the North American numbers are out, and Macron wins in a soviet-level landslide.
More interestingly, St Pierre and miquelon which ranked MLP first in the first round, went 63/37.
Obviously it's just a very little percentage of votes that won't affect the final results but it's fun anyway.