Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Blessing in Disguise

Has Macron ceased to walk on water? First he lost his right-hand man, Ferrand. Now he has lost the Old Man of the Center, Bayrou, the man who claims to have put him where he is today. And his Good Government renewal effort might seem to have become mired in a swamp of petty corruption.

But that would be a superficial reading of the situation. Actually, he has managed, without wielding the knife himself, to rid himself of a potential troublemaker. Bayrou was already acting like a man who imagined himself to possess more power than he actually had. He had exacted a significant price for his support, more deputies than the weight of his party merited. The 42 MoDem deputies will still matter in a legislature not as heavily tilted toward REM as predicted. But the situation is probably more manageable with a weakened Bayrou than with a Bayrou with influence over both justice and European affairs.

The balance of power in the government has now shifted considerably to the right, however. We do not yet know who will replace Bayrou, Sarnez, and Goulard, but the choice will say a lot about the future direction of the Philippe government.

One unfortunate consequence of the Bayrou mess is that Marine Le Pen is now free and clear. Whatever MoDem did with its parliamentary assistants, Le Pen can now claim, with perfect justice, that she was only doing what the others did. "Clarification" seems to be the watchword of the day. It's time for the EU to clarify what if any rules apply to the use of personnel paid by it ostensibly to serve as parliamentary assistant to MEPs.


Anonymous said...

"Yes!" Macron wielded the knife skillfully. Bayrou, as Art underscored, was showing himself to be an oaf. Macron and Philippe are disciplined, " new" men to Bayrou's old. The future of the Macron project expends on their ability to explain to those who elected them that for a fresh, rejuvenated France to come into being, the commitment to reform must be total. Petty operators have to be crushed quickly to preserve The capacity of LREM to move ahead with its program --including teaching the new deputes that party discipline matters.

Robinson said...

Bayrou's bargaining power evaporated when REM gained a majority independent of the MoDem; as Art says, the MoDem scandal simply makes it easier for the president to get rid of troublemakers. The Ferrand scandal is a different kettle of fish: more trouble like this from within REM and Macron will find himself materially weakened.

tomfiorina said...
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