Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Déchirements

Hamon has announced that he has "gone into opposition," but his party is crumbling around him. Valls tried to bolt to REM (I love that Macron's new party, République en Marche, has the initials of a rap group or a state of somnolence) and was rebuffed. Mélenchon discovered that the Insoumis included the Communists, who both remain insoumis (to him) and know a thing or two about cults of personality. They will pursue their own independent, unbowed course to oblivion. The Juppéistes are on the verge of going their own way. MoDem is hoping for a prime minister named Sylvie Goulard. Baroin and Wauquiez are busily stabbing each other in the back and casting about for henchmen. And Marion has left Tante Marine in the lurch, while auntie tries to figure out whether Philippot, who has become the face of the FN on TV and the voice on radio, is more of a liability than an asset. And speaking of radio, Patrick Cohen is leaving France Inter for Europe1.

In short, the French political landscape is already looking like the aftermath of a tornado, and REM won't even announce its slate of candidates until tomorrow. It's going to be a fascinating first 100 days. Everything is in flux, and the currents are impossible to read.

Meanwhile, here at home, in contrast to France, the orange-maned narcissist-in-chief is on the march. Normally I refrain from using the f-word, but when your clueless president fires the person who is investigating him for suspected collusion with a foreign power, "fascism" seems somewhat less hyperbolic. France has for now kept its republic, while the US is once again contemplating Benjamin Franklin's answer to a citizen who asked what kind of government the constitutional convention had given the country: "A Republic, sir, if you can keep it."