Saturday, November 18, 2017

Castagne sur Castaner

Christophe Castaner has been named and duly "elected" head of REM. "Named" is putting it mildly and "elected" putting it generously. He was in fact imposed from on high--I would say by Jupiter himself, except that I am tiring of the Jupiter metaphor, with which the president flattered his own pretensions for apotheosis. This was a politician's power move, not an act of god. It rankled at the base. A few hundred Marcheurs have quit the party, and a few local chapters have expressed their discontent. But for the moment there is no fronde, and even those who have quit tend not to blame Macron but rather "the party," which of course has no existence other than as a Macron vehicle, so this is a distinction without a difference.

But the real fissures in REM will not emerge until the first remaniement, which may be coming soon, or the first high-profile resignation, which could well be Nicolas Hulot. Some of REM's young followers believed that the nomination of Hulot was a promise that all contradictions could be reconciled, that deregulation and regulation would be dosed out with an even hand, a labor code reform here, a nuclear plant decommissioning there, etc. This has proved more difficult than they bargained on. But for the moment disillusionment has been held in check. A reckoning is coming.