December 7, 2015

"Standing before a French tricolore flag after the results came in, a visibly delighted Ms Le Pen did her best to look statesmanlike."

The Economist Reports.
The FN [National Front], she declared, was now confirmed as the “first party of France”. It was a victory for the “forgotten territories” of the republic, she said, and for those who wanted to keep the country “authentically French”....

[T]he FN had been upsetting France’s traditional two-party dominance, and entrenching itself as a serious player, long before these latest crises, thanks to a methodical effort by Ms Le Pen to “disinfect” the FN brand, shed its anti-Semitism and make it a respectable party ready to govern. Today, voters are turning to Ms Le Pen as much because of disillusion at unkept promises by successive governments over the economy and jobs, and because of a sense that only she stands up for ordinary folk....

34 comments:

cubanbob said...

Coming to Germany soon as well.

Sebastian said...

"did her best." I am enamored neither of the FN nor of Trump, but I utterly despise the casual condescension of the anointed.

Tank said...

The two other parties are now conspiring to stop the FN, ie. working together to thwart the will of the "little" people. If Trump is the nominee, expect the same here.

Mike Sylwester said...

Her statesman demeanor always is effortless.

YoungHegelian said...

Here's an article that on Marion Le Pen's campaign in the south of France. It discusses how she outshined the old politico Alain Juppe in a debate.

The debate is an example of a larger phenomenon, which is that many Euro-pols are just awful in the world of glad-handing voters in a crowd, kissing babies, producing sound bites for social media instead of constitutions, and what we as Americans just consider street politics. All of the Nouvelle Droite politicians in Europe are better at the "voter outreach" politics because they have to be. They don't have long established party structures & patronage positions to depend on. I recently heard a discussion on BBC with a British Labour MP, a Swedish New Right guy & an MEP from Belgium. The Labour guy was okay & held his own, but the Belgian MEP could speak nothing but EU boilerplate & the Swedish Rightie just wiped the floor with her. He spoke as if he actually had, you know, constituents or somethin'.

Jack Wayne said...

French hypocrisy on rampant display. France has been and is rabidly anti-Semitic yet the Ruling Class used it as an attack to exclude Le Pen's party from politics. The narrative has finally broken. What's a poor Ruling Class to do?

Dude1394 said...

Wow...this sounds a lot like Trumps candidacy.

" Today, voters are turning to Ms Le Pen as much because of disillusion at unkept promises by successive governments over the economy and jobs, and because of a sense that only she stands up for ordinary folk...."

Lyle Smith said...

White French supremacists... I am not afraid of these folks. Then again, I'm not Jewish, Muslim or whatever, non-white, or living as an American in France.

Michael K said...

The Economist is as leftie as the NY Times. What did you expect ?

john mosby said...

If you're a nationalist and a socialist, does that make you a national socialist?

JSM

traditionalguy said...

Frenchmen are descendants of the Franks. The Arabian head choppers have met their match.

Roughcoat said...


If you're a nationalist and a socialist, does that make you a national socialist?

That's actually a very good question. I'd say: maybe, maybe not; it depends. It certainly doesn't mean that you are a Nazi--although it could. What does it mean to be a "nationalist"? It can mean many things. The meaning is contingent.

Brando said...

Is, or was, her party actually anti-Semitic? What policies did they push for that were anti-Semitic?

Unknown said...

Is "statesmanship" a microagression?

The Cracker Emcee said...

Her niece is hot, too. That beats statesmanlike any old day.

Alex said...

Consequences, bitches. Glad the FN purged the antisemitism.

Coupe said...

The farther you go into France from Paris, the more you see how the people hate where their country has gone. It's like Parisians have stolen the country, and the meekly give a few Euro's to the slobs in the boondocks, meanwhile mandating high taxes to be sent to Paris to buy some big ice cubes.

They build these huge tenements and stick 5000 Arabs into them with no jobs.

Sounds sort of like Chicago, only they speak Canadian...

Brando said...

"If you're a nationalist and a socialist, does that make you a national socialist?"

Technically, yes, but only in the same sense that if your republican form of government is also a democracy, and it is run by people, you technically have a People's Democratic Republic.

hawkeyedjb said...

Note that this is "a sobering reminder of the dark political mood in Europe today."

Why is it "dark" that people have begun to realize that their interests are ignored by those currently in power? It's actually a bright reminder that democracy and the power of the vote still exist. Sobering, certainly, to those who have inflicted so much on the people of Europe under the assumption that their actions wouldn't (couldn't) be questioned.

The rubes will put up with a lot, but if you put the whole multi-culti program to a public vote you would learn just how much people hate it. Not that The Betters would give a flying F**K, but it would be fun.

Fabi said...

How dare the little people have an opinion that doesn't sync with those of the elites!

Sacré Bleu!

Larry J said...

john mosby said...
If you're a nationalist and a socialist, does that make you a national socialist?


Ask Bernie Sanders. Those words apply to him as well.

john mosby said...

It would be nice if there were a non-pejorative term for people who want a certain amount of government-provided safety net for the workers, and a strong posture for their country on the international stage. It does seem to be a movement that is emerging through the cracks between the established parties in many countries.

Maybe "Labor Nationalists?"

"Trade-Union Protectionists?"

"Labor Hawks?"

"Blue-Collar Separatists?"

"Social Borderers?"

JSM

Thorley Winston said...

Is, or was, her party actually anti-Semitic? What policies did they push for that were anti-Semitic?

That’s a fair question. From what I’ve read it looks like Marine Le Pen’s father had made some comments that were considered “holocaust denial” and was prosecuted for it. La Pen distanced herself from her father’s comments and he was expelled from the party’s leadership (not sure if it was over that or something else) and La Pen appears to have actively sought out the support of Jewish voters and described her party as one that supports the right of Israel to exist and to defend itself from terrorist attacks.

jaydub said...

What Coupe said. Outside Paris and maybe a few other large cities, the average Frenchman or woman is much like the average American - just trying to build a beter life. We were in the Pyrennes and the Atlantique last fall, and I was struck by the fact that the folks we talked to were as dismissive of Paris as Americans are of Washington. It didn't used to be that way - the French would never badmouth their government to a stranger. But, neither was it that way in the US, I guess. There are definitely some parallels between Le Pen and Trump.

Fernandinande said...

Brando said...
Is, or was, her party actually anti-Semitic? What policies did they push for that were anti-Semitic?


Probably not, and probably no policies.

Plenty of amplified trivia:
France National Front in new 'anti-Semitism' row (2014)
"He told an interviewer that "we'll make a batch of them** next time" - referring to critics including a Jewish singer."

**them = fournee", "an oven batch of loaves".

So he treated a Jewish person the same as some non-Jewish people, and that is apparently "anti-Semitism".

clint said...

"The FN [National Front]..."

This makes me wonder about when we *translate* and when we *transcribe* the names of foreign parties and organizations.

In French, "The National Front" is "Le Front National" -- would that really be too hard for English readers to read and understand? How about if it were put in italics?

When we talk about middle eastern politics, we say "Hezbollah" not "Party of Allah". When we talk about the Republic of Chinese, we say Kuomintang -- not the National People's Party (or some other direct translation).

And now I'm imagining someone in a foreign country reading about our elections and the contest between the People-Rule-Party and the Proxy-Voting-Party and trying to figure out what those mean.

Robert Cook said...

"Glad the FN purged the antisemitism."

Oh, don't assume they've actually purged it. They've just learned how to behave "respectably." You can be assured if they achieve any real power they will reveal their true, (ahem), colors. They are just the French variant of the National Front in Britain and the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party in America, and other such nationalist right-wing and/or racist groups found in other nations.

hawkeyedjb said...

"It would be nice if there were a non-pejorative term for people who want a certain amount of government-provided safety net for the workers, and a strong posture for their country on the international stage."

Well, in this country we once called them "Democrats" or "members of the Democratic party."

I'm thinking of FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Henry Jackson, Hubert Humphrey...

Michael K said...

"other such nationalist right-wing and/or racist groups found in other nations."

You mean the Democratic Party with its anti-Semitism ?

Balfegor said...

Re: Robert Cook:

Oh, don't assume they've actually purged it. They've just learned how to behave "respectably." You can be assured if they achieve any real power they will reveal their true, (ahem), colors. They are just the French variant of the National Front in Britain and the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party in America, and other such nationalist right-wing and/or racist groups found in other nations.

Well, they do have some resemblance to other right wing nationalist movements in Europe, in that they've become remarkably gay-friendly (cf. the unfortunate Pim Fortuyn). One of the VP's of the party (Florian Philippot) is homosexual, and some of the party old guard are apparently upset that Marine Le Pen's friends are all gays and libertines. That's not to say that the party is going to walk out on a limb for gay marriage (many members of the party demonstrated against the introduction of gay marriage), but there's been a real cultural shift in the composition of the party's support. The new leadership of the party have also courted the Jewish vote, since Jews are the first target of Muslim terror.

It's true though that there seem to be some reasons for concern, in that the FN seems to be attractive to the youth of France:

30 percent of the youth, 43 percent of workers and 37 percent of the unemployed prefer Marine Le Pen.

And the youngest members of leadership (specifically, Marion Marechal-Le Pen) seem much more likely to have some residual anti-Jewish animus though I'm not aware of any specific incidents that would suggest so -- it would just seem to be in keeping with the somewhat reactionary cast of her political positions.

For the time being, though, the party seems like it's a fairly broad tent, and has drawn support from many populations unlikely to be particularly anti-Jewish (including French Jews -- but see this). And in an open, democratic political process, the ability of a secret inner party to move policy in a direction contrary to the interests of its constituents on hot button issues is limited, as we see time and again with unsuccessful efforts to sneak amnesty for illegal immigrants by the voters here aux États-Unis. There are things the FN leadership might be able to slip by the public -- I do not think anti-Jewish measures are among them.

Anglelyne said...

hawkeyedjb: Why is it "dark" that people have begun to realize that their interests are ignored by those currently in power? It's actually a bright reminder that democracy and the power of the vote still exist.

Well, it's not bright and happy at all for members of a ruling caste who've begun to realize that the Judgment of History may be coming 'round sooner than expected - rather than, as they'd assumed, after they've died in their beds following a safe, comfortable retirement on substantial and inflation-indexed pensions.

(Hey, it's not that they've been, say, incompetent. Or that they obstinately pursued irresponsible policies to the point of psychopathy, no, not at all. There they were, governing along as the humble public servants that they are, when, inexplicably, the people turned evil...)

damikesc said...

They are just the French variant of the National Front in Britain and the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party in America, and other such nationalist right-wing and/or racist groups found in other nations.

Yet the HARDCORE anti-Semites are almost universally Progressives.

SukieTawdry said...

The mainstream left and right will need more than just pious admonishments if they are to curb the FN. The more they urge voters to do whatever it takes to stop Ms Le Pen’s party, the better the FN seems to do.

The mainstream left and right will need more than just pious admonishments if they are to curb Donald Trump. The more they urge voters to do whatever it takes to stop Trump, the better Trump seems to do.

john mosby said...

I've got it:

"strong-border socialists."

JSM