Friday, March 10, 2017

La bouillabaisse Macron

Robert Hue is backing Macron. Dominique Villepin is backing Macron. Daniel Cohn-Bendit is backing Macron. Alain Madelin is backing Macron. Bertrand Delanoë is backing Macron. What strange bouillabaisse is this? Macron's christic tendencies have made him an extraordinary fisher of men, and out of the troubled waters of French politics he has fetched up an extraordinary haul of political has-beens (pardon the unkindness). Strange bedfellows hardly does justice to this extraordinary ménage.

Of course all these supporters are quick to say that while they support Macron, they are not Macronistes, but since no one knows what Macronisme is, this doesn't tell us much. Listen to Hue, the former Communist leader:

Je n’ai pas cédé à je ne sais quelle mutation social-démocrate ni, moins encore, succombé au parfum libéral dans l’air du temps. Soyons clairs, je continue de penser que l’heure n’est pas à l’aménagement mais au dépassement de cette société inégalitaire dans laquelle perdurent et grandissent des injustices inacceptables et révoltantes.

Personally, I'd settle for a little aménagement, leaving dépassement to less desperate times. It seems impossible for anyone to say simply that Macron's politics, if unexciting, are cautiously sensible, and that should be enough when his opponents are calling for exit from the EU and euro or anticipating the disappearance of work or proposing to eliminate 500,000 civil service jobs. But the name "common sense" has been appropriated by a group opposed to gay marriage, so even saying one is in favor of common sense has become politicized.

I personally am quite fond of bouillabaisse, but I think Macron's needs to be flavored with a strong dose of aïoli lest this mixture of strange old fish develop an unpalatable flavor of fishiness. With a little judicious seasoning from the chef, a satisfactory meal could soon be set on the table.

Le Pen the Future?

Even if she doesn't win this time, Marine Le Pen's popularity among younger voters bodes ill for the future: