May 6, 2007

"American friends... can rely on our friendship ... France will always be next to them when they need us."

With an amazing 86% turnout, the French elect Nicolas Sarkozy as their new president.

91 comments:

PatCA said...

Hurrah, vive la France!

Sloanasaurus said...

Amazing...A significant defeat for the left.

Lets see if he can bust the Unions like Thatcher and put an end to the socialist grip of misery

EnigmatiCore said...

I would hope that all Americans would be thrilled that the candidate that was openly friendly to our country, compared to his opponent-- an avowed socialist and one who made it clear that she would oppose us, won.

I suspect, however, this thread will prove that hope unfounded.

Christy said...

Perhaps France can now, indeed, become something other than a theme park for tourists.

blake said...

They're already openly weeping on the sinestral side of the 'sphere.

Robert said...

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., concurred: "I do. I do," he told CNN. "I mean, it would be nice to have someone who is head of France who doesn't almost have a knee-jerk reaction against the United States.

Typical DemocRAT fifth column bullsh... oh wait.

Balfegor said...

Amazing...A significant defeat for the left.

Not, I think, as significant as the election back in 2002, when the big leftist candidate, Lionel Jospin, was beaten in the first round by an honest-to-goodness Petainist National Socialist, Jean-Marie Le Pen. I think that was probably their most pathetic showing in recent history.

Tim said...

This is good news, all the way around. Good for the French, good for Europe, and good for the U.S.

Bob said...

What is ironic is that the Socialist Royal was the conservative in the race, trying to preserve the French status quo of anti-Americanism and support for the French welfare state; Sarkozy as the right-wing candidate is taking the progressive role, that of supporting change to the French way of life.

Internet Ronin said...

Here's wishing Preident-elect Sarkozy, and the people of France as well, the best of luck in the next five years. Both are going to need buckets of it as it will definitely be a bumpy ride for all.

ricpic said...

Vive La France!

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

I'm extremely skeptical about Sarkozy. Based on his performance as Minister of the Interior, he appealed to many Le Pen supporters, and he campaigned vigorously for the support of the National Front. The fact that Bayrou, who declined to endorse Royal or Sarkozy, later announced that he would not vote for Sarkozy shows that even centrists are troubled by Sarkozy.

In case anyone has forgotten, Sarkozy opposed the Iraq War. The rightwingers might want to remember that fact before they declare that they've looked Sarkozy in the eye and have a "sense of his soul."

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

sloan wrote:

Lets see if he can bust the Unions like Thatcher and put an end to the socialist grip of misery


Sloan, when you write garbage like this, I wonder if you know anything about political history in Britain, France and the rest of Europe. Why don't you start your "socialist grip of misery" speaking tour in Norway and let us know how you get on?

Ignacio said...

jean-marie le pen did not, by the way, support nor recommend his followers support sarkozy.

tjl said...

When the election results came in, there must have been wailing and rending of designer garments all over Manhattan. The NYT attempted to comfort its grieving readers with an article explaining that the French welfare state is such an immovable dinosaur that Sarkozy can do little to change it. As the NYT pointed out, comfortingly, plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

Internet Ronin said...

Well, Cyrus, that all might be as true as Royal's supposed threat of violence if Sarkozy wins, but the fact is that the people of France have spoken, in the highest turnout in a quarter century, and a large majority chose Sarkozy. Your opinion of that victory, like mine, is of no consequence.

Methadras said...

I wonder what the 'youths' of France will do now that their sworn enemy has been elected? I also wonder what secondary anti-Sarkozy role Royal will now take in thwarting Sarkozy's domestic policies?

Methadras said...

I wonder what the 'youths' of France will do now that their sworn enemy has been elected? I also wonder what secondary anti-Sarkozy role Royal will now take in thwarting Sarkozy's domestic policies?

Methadras said...

Oh dear... Double post. My bad.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Internet ronin wrote:

...Royal's supposed threat of violence if Sarkozy wins


Royal didn't threaten violence. She predicted that if Sarkozy won, there might be rioting in certain areas. Le Pen and Bayrou made similar comments.

Early reports have noted rioting in Paris, Lyon and Toulouse.

By the way, Sarkozy won 53% of the vote, which I consider a comfortable majority, not a large majority. And for the record, I shared my opinion on Sarkozy, not his victory.

Cedarford said...

Part of a general drift in Europe away from the worst of the Left. Yes, there IS Spain, but that country is still 20 years behind other Euros thanks to Franco.

Along with Sarkozy winning, news that Sweden (the Valhalla of US liberals seeing the perfect end point of civilization there) has had it's young PM announce that Sweden will be working to restore "sanity" in union benefits, reconsidering aspects of the dole so that male and female immigrants are expected to work, and selling off a bunch of state-owned industries, including Absolut Vodka.
Oil production in Venezuela under Chavezism is declining, just as most suspected would happen.

All to the good for both Europe and America. I was sick of the gratuitous anti-Americanism. It did neither side not a bit of good (especially Europe with realization Russia is acting up and all their stupid institutions of International Law mean absolutely nothing to the nuclear-questing Iranians). And,the exit of Bush will also help.

Daryl said...

Royal didn't threaten violence.

On one hand, it was a simple prediction, and not very hard to anticipate. Many people associated with the right, such as Charles Johnson, have said the exact same thing.

On the other hand, that's not how it was interpreted in France. The remarks came off as a ham handed threat: vote for me, because they will riot if Sarko wins.

That was crass and despicable. It cuts against democracy. Democracy is when the voters decide who runs the country, not the thugs.

It was also stupid: how could Royal capitalize on fear of rioters when Sarko has a monopoly on that? Any French people afraid of the thugs voted for Sarko so he can bring them under control.

It shows what a poor politician Royal is, and why she does not deserve the office.

downtownlad said...

This is what happens when you snub George Bush on the war. Your party gets re-elected.

Sloanasaurus said...

Why don't you start your "socialist grip of misery" speaking tour in Norway and let us know how you get on?

If Norway did not produce surplus oil it would be a basket case economy.

It has been proven over the last century that socialism leads to misery for the average person. Socialism is a bankrupt idea especially if you also want freedom in your society.

We will see over the next 10 years the misery that Hugo Chavez will bring to his country and the critics of socialism will be proven right again.

downtownlad said...

Now Sloanasaurus is the voice of freedom? Does anyone else find this hysterical.

Sloanasaurus wants to dictate who I'm allowed to marry, he wants to keep marijuana illegal even for medical purposes, he doesn't think I should be able to choose the manner in which I die. Etc, etc, etc.

We have never had a President who is more anti-freedom than our current one.

Palladian said...

Jesus, notch down the drama a few levels, Mary.

downtownlad said...

Palladian - Just because you're having your period, you don't have to take it out on the entire board.

vnjagvet said...

No one wants to dictate who you can marry, DTL.

There are few countries in the world where the laws allow you to "marry". This one is not now one of them, and never has been.

It will be a long time before this country will be one of them, if it ever will.

But you can go anywhere you want to. Even to those countries that allow you to marry.

How can you blame Sloan for your inability to marry?

What do you want Sloan to do, vote for something he doesn't agree with?

downtownlad said...

And again - at least I'm not fat like Palladian.

downtownlad said...

vnjagvet - I just want to Sloanasaurus to stop pretending how he's the authority on Freedom, when he actively rallies against it on a daily basis.

tjl said...

"at least I'm not fat like Palladian"

Another thoughtful contribution to the discussion. Thanks, dtl, for helping to persuade ever more heteros that ours is the cause of reason and justice!

downtownlad said...

Well tjl - If Palladian wants to make bigoted homophobic comments to me (by calling me "she"), then I am going to respond by calling him fat. Which he is by the way. That's not a lie.

downtownlad said...

And again - another thread goes down the tube due to Palladian turning to the gutter.

vnjagvet said...

I understand, DTL. You understand, though, that changing thousands of years of law and tradition is not something that happens overnight.

Sometimes it doesn't happen at all.

It is you that wants to change the status quo. Not Sloan.

downtownlad said...

Vnjagvet - Sloanasaurus made the comment "Socialism is a bankrupt idea especially if you also want freedom in your society."

But he doesn't favor freedom. In fact he favors torturing people before they are even charged. Go figure.

tjl said...

"I am going to respond by calling him fat"

And what is the relevance of Palladian's BMI to Sarkozy's election? In the midst of an interesting discussion of socialism vs. free-market concepts, the hope for positive changes in our relationships with Europe, etc., we get this.

Now that once again gay people have been made to seem ridiculous, what's YOUR percentage of body fat?

downtownlad said...

Mine us 7.6% asof this morning tjl. I have a bodyfat scale. And yes - I know that's getting up there, so yes yes, I AM on a diet.

I will not broach 8%. Ever.

But if you would read up the thread tjl, I was responding to Sloanasaurus about Freedom, and then Palladian piped in by calling me "Mary".

So yes - if crap words like that are thrown at me - I throw back.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
downtownlad said...

Maybe Palladian - maybe just once - you could either choose to ignore my legitimate comments, or respond to them like a rational human being.

Why you choose to resort to insults EVERY SINGLE TIME when I post a legitimate comment is beyond me.

And damn right I won't reveal my identity to you (although I've revealed it to many other bloggers). You stalk me online, god knows what you would do in real life.

Palladian said...

"Well tjl - If Palladian wants to make bigoted homophobic comments to me (by calling me "she"), then I am going to respond by calling him fat. Which he is by the way. That's not a lie."

And again, I can't insult your physical appearance because you're a cowardly little shit who vents your effluvia anonymously. You, however, can insult me because I'm not a coward, and not afraid to let my real identity back up my words, whatever they may be. The only thing about your real identity we can be sure of is that you're an unmitigated asshole, a hysterical moron, and possibly a pervert who gets your jollies by posting offensive, stupid comments on discussion boards and getting smarter, butcher people to verbally abuse you. You've never contributed anything thought-provoking, interesting or funny to any discussion in which I've seen you participate. You ruin every discussion in which you insert your reedy little bleats. No one likes you, no one respects you and no one would ever miss you if you never returned here to comment. Or if they did miss you, it would only be to write "wow, it's so pleasant to comment here! I wonder what's changed?"

To summarize, go take a flying fuck at yourself, Mary. You're pathetic, whatever your BMI. The rest of you, please excuse my language.

Oh, and go France.

[PS: This comment was edited to make it a little less mean. I'm actually a nice person who is capable of feeling remorse when I'm nasty.]

Palladian said...

"And damn right I won't reveal my identity to you (although I've revealed it to many other bloggers). You stalk me online, god knows what you would do in real life."

Don't flatter yourself, honey. I only seem to stalk you because you continually try to stink up the comments section of a blog I love to read.

downtownlad said...

Please ignore me Palladian.

Please, please, please. It would make these threads a hundred times more interesting if I could have actual conversations with people.

downtownlad said...

Stink up? Please find one thread I've "stunk up" where I wasn't attacked first?

Answer - you can't.

downtownlad said...

To get back to the topic at hand, I find it amusing that Drudge is trying to paint this as some huge victory for the right.

Remember - Chirac has been President for two terms now. And
Sarkozy is actually a little to the left of him. In other words, pretty much status-quo.

This is the same party that refused to back the U.S. in the Iraq War, and that is one of the reasons the "conservatives" if you can call them that in France have actually remained relatively popular.

Meanwhile, the real Socialist in Europe - Tony Blair, is incredibly unpopular. And the anti-war sentiment in England will likely result in a Tory victory in a few years time.

Palladian said...

dtl, I only wish I could ignore you, but Blogger doesn't have a killfile option or comment threading so I'm forced to read the damage that you constantly cause around here. It's laughable to contend that you try to have "conversations" with anyone here. What you actually do is come in, say something offensive, provocative and/or stupid and then feign innocence as to why everyone is "attacking" you. It's a boring trolling routine that, of course, gets the desired result- the conversation becomes all about you! But you can't pull the vortex thing as well as Althouse does. She entices people into her vortex. You drag them in kicking and screaming.

boston70 said...

I am glad he won.

But before all of you conservatives now begin buying french goods remember "Right Wing" in France is what would be still considered liberal in the U.S.

Chirac was also from the "conversative" party.

Sarko's main issues were the huge issues regarding unemployment in the country and immigration. He is all for globalization and cracking down on immigration. He is a social liberal, loves the gays etc. so if you think you have a "Bush" friend now, think again.

He was also against the Iraq War, stated in his victory speech US needs to lead in global warming and doesn't give a shit about marriage or abortion. In other words he would be what many of you would call a democrat here.

It is not like he is going to send troops to Iraq.

He is going to be good for globalization and well as immigration. Hopefully, this can turn their high unemployment around.

Think Angela Merkel from Germany (she was the conservative candidate); don't think George Bush when they say "right" candidate.

Bush is more like "psychotic right" and "completely incompetent right" or just "dumb (tell me what to say) right".

That being said I am happy for France and glad he was elected.

downtownlad said...

Palladian - The topic becomes me, when you make it about me.

Why don't you try talking about France.

Boston70 - I agree with your points. Sarkozy will be good for the country if he can actually implement some real labor reform. Personally - I doubt it. I don't think he wants to repeal the 35 hour week for example, he just wants to tweak it. I expect the same amount of progress France had under Chirac, which is almost none.

Palladian said...

"In other words he would be what many of you would call a democrat here."

If only. Imagine a Democrat being tough on immigration. People might really want to vote for them then.

No one really expects France to elect a candidate that would be acceptable to American "conservatives". I think conservatives and others are simply happy that they elected someone who was moderate on many issues, didn't automatically hate the United States and wasn't a shopworn socialist. I'm happy not because of what he will mean to us (though it's certainly an added bonus) but what I hope he will mean to the great nation of France. I don't want France to slide into the dustbin anymore than it already has.

Theo Boehm said...

Looks like we're back to that high-level discussion of France.

It's so nice that Sarko wants to be more friendly.

As an American, I would like to invoke the ties that bind our countries with that stirring quote that summarizes our fraternal association over the past two centuries:

"Lafayette, I could give a rat's ass."

Tribeca said...

Very good Palladian.

But you are wrong on the immigration point. Polls have shown that this nation is consistently pro-immigrant, and vast majorities (65%) favor Bush's immigrantion proposal - which Democrats support as well. Anti-immigrant tirades resulted in the loss of a solid Republican House seat in Arizona in November.

And I'm not sure where you're getting that the conservatives "didn't automatically hate the United States".

Do you know anything about French history. Mitterand's foreign policy was no different than Chirac's when it came to the United States. And let's not talk about the anti-Americanism of de Gualle . . .

And why should we care if the French choose socialism or not? That's for the French to decide, not us.

boston70 said...

I will be interested to see how issues regarding work life balance will change in France.

I travel there once a quarter for work as my employer has an office there. I believe there will be many challenges regarding the 35 hour work week-they take that seriously and much of what I have observed some don't even work 35 hours a week.

Also, LOA and Maternity leaves etc. can last literally years. This sounds unbelievable but it is true. One employee went out on a maternity leave and was promised her job, or a comparable job back when she returned after 3 years. All benefits were covered while she was out as well as pay.

These will be some serious challenges as many in France have a very different work ethic than we do in the US.

One thing that I do envy, which is done throughout Europe, is they generally take a month of "holiday" during August. That would be nice. But after 1 week I would probably feel totally guilty and get on my computer.

Boomer said...

Sheesh, I've only posted two comments on this blog and both were about dtl when I (as a deaf man) slapped him down about his supposed opinion that he knows deaf people, i.e. the deaf woman that could "hear" a tornado post. Since he didn't respond to me, I replied that "It must have fallen on deaf ears." That revealed he's simply not a bright guy and thus, not worth it.

Regarding this comment thread, I wish more people would literally say the same thing (figuratively, in internet usage, of course.) (Literally and figuratively! heh)

J. said...

Tribeca,

Sounds like you're referring to Hayworth's seat here in AZ. Questionable how "safe" that seat has been, especially considering the migration into that district from the rest of the country.

Also, the same electorate that dumped Hayworth passed four anti-illegal immigrant measures by 70%.

Revenant said...

Sarkozy sounds like a step in the right direction for France. Nice to see that he has such strong support.

Sloanasaurus said...

I just want to Sloanasaurus to stop pretending how he's the authority on Freedom, when he actively rallies against it on a daily basis.

??? And how is it that I rally against freedom on a daily basis?

Are you willing to argue that we would be more free under socialism?

Peter Palladas said...

Very telling for us that Downing Street are delighted he has beaten Royal.

A Labour Government that didn't want a Socialist in power across the Channel?

We've come a long way since Clause 4.

Primarily - at least publicly - it's because Royal was intending to relaunch the failed and much detested new European Constitution, which was/is aimed at creating the United States of Europe - capital city Brussels.

That would have meant a referendum here, which inevitably would have been lost - buried more like - creating headaches all round.

The less public rejoicing at Number 10 - apart from a natural inclination to the conservative - is founded on relief that Sarkosy will be strong on immigration. The argument being, from our end, that the fewer immigrants who make it to France, the fewer who will pass through to England.

That may of course backfire, but T Blair will take his remaining chances on "Tough on immigration. Tough on the causes of immigration."

As an English Everyman - more or less of my type - I am intrigued to find I have moved so far to the right in my despair as to reject a middle-aged, elegant, powerful, French woman (my ideal erotic fantasy) in favour of a wizened old geezer with a hair weave, who considers some of his electorate to be 'scum'.

And precisely because of what Sarkosy wants: no grand federal Europe, and a Europe for the Europeans.

How bad has the world gotten that one can no longer vote with one's loins?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

sloan wrote:

If Norway did not produce surplus oil it would be a basket case economy.


sloan, perhaps you should heed the advice of everyone's favorite Republican, Abraham Lincoln:

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

EnigmatiCore said...

Downtownlad,

"Stink up? Please find one thread I've "stunk up" where I wasn't attacked first?

Answer - you can't."

Unless Althouse deleted some comment, then this thread proves your statement inaccurate.

Your second comment on this thread included a personal attack on someone else. "Now Sloanasaurus is the voice of freedom? Does anyone else find this hysterical."

You earned the rejoinder you got. And you then quickly turned on the gas, as you usually do. You obviously enjoy being an ass, and you are good at it. The part that evades me is what you think you are accomplishing.

No, I take that back. It does not evade me at all. You believe you are pissing off people you want to piss off. That you come across as pathetic doesn't bother you a whit.

AllenS said...

dtl,

Not long ago, Freder Frederson explained why he was always arguing and being an *sshole with his comments. His reasoning was, his words, "someone needs to be the turd in the punchbowl." Really, now, we don't need two turds. Why the name calling? Is there something stuck up your *ss? Or, has there been something stuck up there lately? Why the sourness?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

allens,

There's been plenty of namecalling here. Don't pretend to be bothered by it when you engage in it yourself.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

enigmaticore,

I don't consider this a personal attack:

"Now Sloanasaurus is the voice of freedom? Does anyone else find this hysterical."

On the other hand, I think this is clearly a personal attack:

You obviously enjoy being an ass, and you are good at it.

EnigmatiCore said...

Cyrus,

I never claimed that it wasn't. After reading a page filled with personal attacks, I am quite comfortable with having thrown one back, despite not having been an initial target.

DTL is consistently an ass. He openly roots for bad things to happen to entire groups of people out of his own poisoned outlook on life.

If that is who you want to climb into bed with (metaphorically speaking), then...

Bissage said...

It’s more than just rooting. Sometimes it’s promising.

For example, when it was pointed out to downtownlad that New York law restricts marriage to heterosexual couples, he responded with a declaration of intent, as follows:

Whatever. One more justification for treating straight people like crap.

I'll start by sending people in the wrong direction when they ask where the World Trade Center site is. If I can point them in the direction that gets them out of my neighborhood, all the better.

10:53 am


That’s but one of many examples of downtownlad’s perfectly gratuitous dickheadedness.

Roger said...

Wow--did everyone wake up on the wrong side of the bed? This is a French election! Who knew it would result in such vituperation!

I am sorry the Royal lost, only because I thought that lady was hot as a three dollar pistol, and how often is it possible to lust after a head of state? Plus she had those great two accents going on first name.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

enigmaticore,

I don't feel any obligation to choose sides among the squabblers. Why do you?

It would be a nice change to have a discussion without the childish behavior. I understand that, in a moment of frustration, commenters may occasionally use poor judgment and question the intelligence of others. But gay-baiting, which is what started this unpleasant exchange apparently, isn't just a matter of poor judgment. It's the product of a small and weak mind.

I'm surprised that no one has the courage to stand up against gay-baiting. This is the kind of behavior I'd expect to find among sexually insecure and somewhat dim high school boys.

Theo Boehm said...

Roger--I think what we're seeing is not simply grumpiness but a full-fledged pathology.  I propose calling it Althouse Disease.  Entire blogs with formerly rational and amusing commenters have been known to be affected.

The etiology includes infection by certain strains of the common bacillus commentarius, which can easily produce a neurotoxin under certain circumstances.  The toxin acts on the CNS, producing a Tourette-like syndrome, with patients exhibiting compulsive behaviors, including name-calling, identity confusion, hallucinatory memory loss, loss of cognitive ability, as well as symptoms usually associated with Marginal Personality Disorder.

The pathogen does not respond to antibiotics or other currently-available chemotherapies.  Some have suggested alcohol as a palliative, but in fact, white wine has been shown to have harmful effects, leading to the overgrowth of some strains (bacillus commentarius spp. Althousei)

Treatment should consist of removal of stimuli such as discussions of George Bush, the Iraq War, Global Warming, the French, etc.  Low traffic numbers and pictures of fuzzy kittens generally relieve symptoms within a few weeks.

If the blog proprietor is a skilled comment surgeon, excision of necrotic tissue should be considered in chronic cases.

Smilin' Jack said...

""American friends... can rely on our friendship ... France will always be next to them when they need us.""

That's nice, I guess...BTW, where is this "France," anyway? Isn't it one of those countries like Andorra and Monaco on that little peninsula that sticks out of Asia?

Wake me up when Lichtenstein has an election....

Fen said...

Socialist youths rioting in the streets, confronting "fascism" with physical violence. No wonder our own Lefties are so despondent.

vet66 said...

What is interesting is the number of female voters who did not vote for Segolene Royal. French women decided that relying on feminism and being a mother of four does not provide sufficient credentials to run a country.

One more nail in the coffin of female victimhood and the "I am woman hear me roar" crowd. Her party of appeasement failed the basic test of law and order. I believe Royal was sincerely afraid of the consequences of a Sarkozy win. The left-wing nutcases of her party were going to riot and the banlieus full of muslims were going to piggyback on the anarchists.

The French are apparently fed up with this status quo and are doing something about it. I wonder when our own democrats will stop pandering to the anti-war/anti-American minority of their party?

Fen said...

France will always be next to them when they need us

Congrats on the victory and good luck, but sorry, I haven't forgotten my history - I will never trust France to stand by us. We're safer having your country as an enemy than an ally. You always stab your friends in the back.

Pogo said...

Hard to know whether or not France can escape its demographic decline, hyper-regulated and therefore stagnant economy, welfare dependency, and violence from its Muslim population.

This small step seems to acknowledge that the problems will not resolve by applying more socialist remedies. I wish them well in their effort.

I am not quite ready yet to state "Ich bin eine Parisien" (oops); their animosity towards America is too entrenched for that.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

vet66 wrote:

The French are apparently fed up with this status quo and are doing something about it.


In fact, they were so fed up with the status quo, they elected another UMP president! Now that's what I call a real rejection of the status quo...

EnigmatiCore said...

"It would be a nice change to have a discussion without the childish behavior."

I agree. How's the best way to make that happen?

Ignoring the pest sometimes works. In this case, it has not.

I doubt, however, that one or two people firing back will make a difference. If more did, then it might either by making him realize he's not helping his case or by having Ann realize that he is serving no purpose beyond making some discussions unreadable.

Or, perhaps nothing will work and we'll just have to deal with it. In the grand scheme of things, dealing with the postings of an emotionally disturbed person is not high on the list of difficult to manage items.

tjl said...

"We're safer having your country as an enemy than an ally."

We've got enough open enemies at the moment that we don't need to artificially create a new one. It's better to take Sarkozy's statement at face value, i.e., a polite gesture. Since Chirac and Villepin haven't been overflowing with politeness up to now, maybe this is actually a sign of better things to come.

France's value as an ally may be limited, but it has already proven than it can do us lots of harm in its natural metier -- working behind the scenes. If they refrain from doing that, the benefits could be considerable.

Fen said...

We've got enough open enemies at the moment that we don't need to artificially create a new one.

Its not a matter of creating a new enemy, just recognizing that at some point in the future France will slip a knife in our back. I'm all for welcoming France as a friend, I'm just not turning my back on them.

Roger said...

The new President has his work cut out for him if he is to reform the french economy AND tackle the issue of immigration. With respect to the former he has an entrenched bureaucracy (cf Michel Crozier's book on bureaucracy) as well as what promise to be class fissures in French society.

Fen said...

If they refrain from doing that, the benefits could be considerable.

Okay, I see what you mean - perhaps now France will be neutralized? Optimistic sentiment, but not their pattern. Hope you're right and I'm worng.

Fen said...

The new President has his work cut out for him if he is to reform the french economy AND tackle the issue of immigration

How much time does he have to work with? I'm ignorant re the French system - can he be removed with a vote of no confidence from parliment? Next set of elections?

"When a UDF-RPR coalition won a majority of seats in the parliamentary election of 1986, Mitterrand had to call on opposition leader Chirac to form a government, marking another first for the Fifth Republic--a "cohabitation" arrangement in which the president and the prime minister were of different parties"

Roger said...

The French system is a "strong president" system, who gets to appoint his own prime mininister--EXCEPT the President has to appoint the prime minister from largest party bloc in the legislature--so it is possible that the prime minister could be from a different party than the president. Needless to say, that is only the briefest of sketches.

tjl said...

"at some point in the future France will slip a knife in our back"

At all points in the future, as in the past, France will act according to its perception of its own interests. If we don't like their political culture, they don't care.
But we should care a great deal if a core Western society slips further into paralysis and eventually sharia. It's in our interest to applaud and support any political development which might slow this process of disintegration. Whatever your opinion of French politicians, I'm sure you don't want the day to come in your lifetime when mullahs rip up the vineyards, blow up Chartres, and torch the Louvre.

Cedarford said...

Vet66 - The French are apparently fed up with this status quo and are doing something about it. I wonder when our own democrats will stop pandering to the anti-war/anti-American minority of their party

Some have pointed Chirac was conservative. They miss that his election(s) promised coalition with the Socialists, who he have important ministries to. Sorkozy ran against the status quo of open borders, velvet gloves for banuiel-burners, the unions, and the Euro Constitution. And most significantly, the anti-white French, anti-European contingents.

America faces some status quo quandaries itself. With the Republican failure of vision from Bush to Congress - do the Democrats really want to come in as the Ruling Party with a sizable contingent of Lefties on the extreme that revel in US defeat and soldier losses, that are deeply anti-American, that seek to recreate the 70s and McGovernite philosphy?

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tjl - France's value as an ally may be limited, but it has already proven than it can do us lots of harm in its natural metier -- working behind the scenes. If they refrain from doing that, the benefits could be considerable.

Very perceptive. France has enormous "soft power" globally. The Bushies all but declared France "irrelevant" because they lacked the high tech military that was going to bring freedom and democracy and friendship with Israel to Iraq in mere months. France and Iraqi citizens proved otherwise. France gave us a bad diplomatic whipping.

It's in our interest to applaud and support any political development which might slow this process of disintegration. Whatever your opinion of French politicians, I'm sure you don't want the day to come in your lifetime when mullahs rip up the vineyards, blow up Chartres, and torch the Louvre.

Another good bottom-line insight.

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We've got enough open enemies at the moment that we don't need to artificially create a new one.

Fen - Its not a matter of creating a new enemy, just recognizing that at some point in the future France will slip a knife in our back. I'm all for welcoming France as a friend, I'm just not turning my back on them.

When it comes to backstabbing, France is behind such notables as (1)The noble purple-fingered freedom-loving democracy hungry Arab Iraqi everyman; (2)"Give us arms for free and we will sell them behind your back to the Chinese, spy on you and sell what we get to the Soviets, post-Soviets". Meaning the not so trustworthy Israelis.

The US itself has built up a fairly good reputation internationally as a backstabber through many decades of propping someone up in power, only to pull the rug out from under them. Or promising to support and reneging on that support. Or making deals with other superpowers that victimize smaller countries.

If you ask nations globally who has a reputation as a bigger backstabber - France or the USA - USA wins easily. Just about every nation can give a litany of broken US promises, backstabbing. Economic deals that backstabbed, deals the US made that backstabbed progressive forces to keep a stable dictator in power...

Not being anti-American. Just noting America famously goes back on it's word or does 180's or screws the little guy nation to reward the big guy nation, if it means the big guy nation gives us it's favor and money.

XWL said...

President Bush has permanently damaged the reputation of the United States and we are now a pariah on the international stage (if you believe the NYT and the like).

And yet, in elections around the world it's been America hating socialists 2 (Spain, Ecuador (not counting Venezuela, that election was rigged)) - America loving center/right candidates 6 (Germany, Japan, France, Canada, Mexico, Australia, am I missing any?).

For all the damage President Bush was supposed to have done, seems like hating America isn't the election winner it's supposed to be.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

XWL wrote:

am I missing any?


Most notably, Italy.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

XWL,

Let me put your "analysis" in perspective. Of the countries you list (and including Italy), only four (Spain, Italy, Japan and Australia) were "coalition of the willing" members. There was no political fallout in France, Germany, Canada, Mexico, and Ecuador due to association with United States policies, and specifically, the Iraq War. In that respect, your conclusion that association with Bush is not "damaging" is disingenuous.

In Spain (2004), the Socialist Zapatero defeated Bush ally Anzar. In Italy (2006), the center-left candidate Prodi defeated Bush ally Berlusconi. In Australia (2004), John Howard won reelection; this is his fourth term. In Japan (2006), the LDP remained as the ruling party, as it has for roughly 51 of the last 52 years.

Of these four cases, your claim is supported at best by one election--the reelection of Howard in Australia. In the two examples from Europe, the evidence suggests that association with the US policy in Iraq hurt the incumbents in Spain and Italy.

Additionally, I suspect that the Labour Party will lose power in the next election in the United Kingdom. In the recent local elections, Labour lost seats to the SNP in Scotland, to the Tories in England, and to Plaid Cymru in Wales. Being a Bush ally hasn't resulted in a free ride as you suggest.

Balfegor said...

Re: Cyrus Pinkerton --

XWL appears to be speaking of America's prestige and appeal, rather than simply "Coalition of the Willing" status. Limiting to "Coalition of the Willing" countries is not directly on point there.

Also, it's worth mentioning that the Labour party's defeat may or may not really result in any cooling of the Anglo-American alliance -- the Conservatives are (in theory at least) Conservative, after all, and their party has generally been good about the alliance. Even if the toffs don't like us. [Cameron, incidentally, seems kind of toff-ey, so there's a live possibility that he'll bring back some of the High Tory anti-Americanism that abated under middle class leaders like Thatcher and Major].

Similarly, in Korea (which has the third largest contingent of troops occupying Iraq, after the US and Britain), I have hopes that Roh Moo-hyun's Uri party will go down in flames in the December 2007 elections, and that the conservative Grand National Party will regain power. This isn't hope in a vacuum -- in addition to Roh's impeachment, the GNP have also made significant gains in local elections in 2006. If the GNP take power, however, the result will be that South Korea's government will become even more pro-American.

Lastly, though, for the both of you -- I'm pretty sure local issues tend to predominate over abstract things like "attitude towards the US" in these kinds of electoral contests, in the same way that local interests take priority over abstract things like "will France like us?" in American elections. The big issue in the Japanese elections (where Koizumi's LDP won a huge victory) was postal privatisation and general regulatory reform, not the relationship with the US. Similarly, my impression is that John Howard won his most recent election not because he's a good friend of the US or otherwise, but more likely because his opponent, Mark Latham, was . . . kind of insane (last year, for example, he was charged with theft and assault, but pled down to malicious damage, for stealing a man's camera, taking it home to his shed, and pounding it into tiny fragments with hammer). And because Australia has been reasonably prosperous under Howard's government.

XWL said...

I don't disagree that local issues matter more than anything in national elections, none of those elections I mentioned should be considered a referendum on the Bush Administration and its foreign policy.

And yet, media outlets tend to do just that, but only when it's the Bush unfriendly candidate that wins.

So my point was more about media hypocrisy than anything else.

I'm dead certain that a Royal victory would have been portrayed as a repudiation of Bush, just as the Spanish election was.

It wasn't true for Spain, and it's not true in the reverse for France (or any of the others).

Socialist scoundrels around the world have been using anti-American rhetoric to try and shore up their base and maybe sway a few non-socialists to their side, so far that technique has proven largely ineffective.

The real question is why are socialists so reflexively anti-American?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

balfegor,

Hmmm. How strange that you've chosen to disagree with me by agreeing with what I wrote.

I began by eliminating from XWL's analysis all countries that weren't part of the coalition of the willing (i.e., countries not directly bearing a cost of the war in Iraq, and therefore far more likely to have voters considering national issues other than anything to do with US policies). I'm surprised that you didn't understand this point in context, although clearly you understood it when you repeated it to me.

I'm also surprised that you conclude that my response was "not directly on point" when in fact, the purpose of my comment was to show that the great majority of XWL's examples weren't "on point" in addressing the claim he was making. Again, I have to conclude that you really didn't understand at all the point I was making.

Nor did I suggest anywhere that a Conservative victory in Britain would cool the "Anglo-American alliance." My point, which I believe was fairly obvious, is that Labour is paying a price for Blair's support for the US-led invasion of Iraq.

balfegor, before you lecture next time, will you please reread the post on which you are commenting? It will save so much time and effort if you'll just make an effort to understand the post the first time around.

Balfegor said...

Cyrus -- reread what you wrote. XWL says (to rebut charge that America is international pariah):

And yet, in elections around the world it's been America hating socialists 2 (Spain, Ecuador (not counting Venezuela, that election was rigged)) - America loving center/right candidates 6 (Germany, Japan, France, Canada, Mexico, Australia, am I missing any?).

You respond by adding Italy, and attempting to reframe as follows:

Let me put your "analysis" in perspective. Of the countries you list (and including Italy), only four (Spain, Italy, Japan and Australia) were "coalition of the willing" members. There was no political fallout in France, Germany, Canada, Mexico, and Ecuador due to association with United States policies, and specifically, the Iraq War. In that respect, your conclusion that association with Bush is not "damaging" is disingenuous.

But your reframing itself is disingenuous -- XWL is saying that anti-Americanism is not an election-winner, ergo we are not a pariah, talking generally (the international community includes more than just the "coalition of the willing," after all, and indeed, you would expect that more distant allies who did not join us in Iraq would be quicker to jump on the America-pariah bandwagon). In contrast, you are taking a subset of the international community, as the frame of analysis:

Of these four cases, your claim is supported at best by one election--the reelection of Howard in Australia. In the two examples from Europe, the evidence suggests that association with the US policy in Iraq hurt the incumbents in Spain and Italy.

Interesting, but not really responsive to his point. My point in response is that while the evidence might suggest that (with Zapatero I think it actually does), in the case of Italy, it might also be that Berlusconi, a rich and vulgar man, was corrupt, even by Italian standards. And then my final point is that both of you are toting up figures that are not really relevant to the question of America-as-pariah, because elections typically turn on local issues.

I really don't see how you can read us as making the same point at all.

PatCA said...

"The real question is why are socialists so reflexively anti-American?"

Because we epitomize capitalism and individuality. They also blame us and the CIA, yada, yada for their utter failure to ignite even one workers' revolution in their 100-year history. I guess all the workers with any energy just emigrate to a capitalist country.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Balfegor,

Well, again I have to conclude that you have missed the point of my exchange with XWL, in part because you didn't understand his conclusion, and in part because you didn't understand my response. However, as your comments continue to make similar points to mine, you certainly agree with me in most respects.

To remind you, here's what XWL's analysis concluded:

For all the damage President Bush was supposed to have done, seems like hating America isn't the election winner it's supposed to be.

I read this as relating to Bush's policies (e.g., the Iraq war) rather than simply anti-Americanism. The key words are "for all the damage President Bush was supposed to have done..."

Unless you want to argue this point, the most obvious Bush policy that has had political ramifications in other countries is the decision to invade Iraq. Now, I suppose you could argue that the US-led invasion of Iraq was an important consideration by voters in elections in Mexico, Canada, Ecuador, etc..., but as there is no evidence that it was, it seems arbitrary and foolish to argue that anti-Americanism played any role whatsoever in those elections. I've made this point twice now, and you've disagreed by agreeing twice. Can we just "disagree to agree" that in the majority of countries listed by XWL that anti-Americanism was not anything close to a significant factor in their elections?

And, if we acknowledge that in those countries anti-American sentiments were a non-factor in the elections, shouldn't they properly be removed from an analysis of the consequences of Bush policies on foreign election results? In that regard, the following statement I made is accurate and logical:

There was no political fallout in France, Germany, Canada, Mexico, and Ecuador due to association with United States policies, and specifically, the Iraq War.

I then identify four coalition of the willing members and look at their elections. There is little doubt that the Iraq war was a factor in the Spanish election; there has been quite a bit written about it. There is also little doubt that the Iraq war was a factor in the Italian election, although perhaps less so than in Spain. Your observation that Italian voters considered other factors besides the war is obvious, and it is also irrelevant as I didn't claim otherwise.

The Iraq war was a certainly a minor factor in the Australian election. In Australia, the three term incumbent won a fourth term, and it's clear that association with Bush's policies did not damage Howard. In Japan, where the LDP essentially wins every election, the LDP won again. In what functions as essentially a one-party system, that result hardly serves as an example of XWL's claim.

In summary, you seem to disagree with me on the following points:

1. You agree with me that in most foreign elections, national issues matter most. Therefore in countries that have no association with Bush policies, American foreign policy under Bush is essentially a nonfactor in the elections.

2. You agree with me that in countries that joined us in the Iraq war, their war committment is a national issue, and therefore is a factor in elections.

You summarize XWL's argument like this:

XWL is saying that anti-Americanism is not an election-winner, ergo we are not a pariah

(As I pointed out earlier, you overlook XWL's specific reference to Bush's policies.)

A summary of my position is this:

Anti-Americanism, and particularly Bush's foreign policy, is not an election factor in most foreign elections (i.e., neither a "winner" nor a "loser"). Therefore looking at elections in which there is no direct national interest in Bush's foreign policy to gauge anti-American sentiment as a consequence of those policies is foolish. On the other hand, looking at foreign elections in which there was a clear national interest, by association, in Bush foreign policy, it seems that those leaders who have attached themselves to Bush policy have in general fared poorly.

Balfegor, if you are going to continue to defend XWL's argument, please do so directly. Explain to me, for example, how the election results in Ecuador and Mexico in any way reflect national feeling about Bush's foreign policy. If not, please pass on a response; XWL's original post wasn't interesting enough to deserve this much discussion, and I've already corrected the logical errors in his analysis.

As a final point, I note that you wrote this:

"...you are taking a subset of the international community as the frame of analysis..."

Yes, this is true, as it is appropriate. However, I invite you to analyze all foreign elections since the beginning of the Iraq war, or since the beginning of Bush's presidency, or since the beginning of time. Please don't repost on this subject until you've finished the analysis and have something relevant to say. Thanks.