In the France’s first-ever primary campaign, the Socialists have chosen their candidate.
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With all due respect, and without giving an inch to the Blair fantasists like Robert Harris (whose novel The Ghost Writer inspired the eponymous Roman Polanski film), the glaring contrast in these formulations strikes me as worthy of consideration. With Mrs. Aubry, or with the other strong primary vote getter, Arnaud Montebourg, even with the weak primary vote getter, Ségolène Royal (Mr. Hollande’s former girlfriend, though I doubt that is the politically correct term on the mushy-left, and the mother of his four children, all of whom he adores according to reports), you sense a nostalgia and even more than that for the old school. What is a political program, after all, that aims to “realize our true potential” and other Jerry Brown type smoke? When François Mitterrand led the Socialists to victory 30 years ago, it was with manifestoes that for all intent and purpose read like the old Clause Four. He did not believe a word of it — at least not as much as he believed in getting re-elected, seven years later, even if it meant pretending that old time religion had never really existed. Mr. Hollande will have the comrades to his left reminding him of the dreams they all shared once, when Mitterrand sang lullabies. He will be pressed to sing them too — while hoping they sound innocuous enough to serve as an all-purpose “French dream.”
However, it is a four way race now. President Sarkozy is in the saddle, and his line is going to be that you should not change horses in midstream (somehow this always struck me as a ridiculous image because how would you get to the horse to unseat the horseman if they are already midstream?). There is unfinished business and, compared to his challengers, he has experience, he knows the great and mighty of this world (not to mention all the richest people in France, to one of whom he once complained that the presidency was okay but as soon as he got out he was going to make some real money).
The ecologist-Greens, under the leadership of the irreproachable and profoundly decent magistrate, Eva Joly, will impress everyone with their irreproachable decency.
The National Front, led by Marine Le Pen, will hammer away at the venality, the corruption, the shabbiness, all the sins all democratic politicians have been blamed for by national-right parties in Europe since the 19th century, plus laxity in the face of the Muslim threat, the American threat, the threat of s*x madness in TV commercials, and they will garner a fifth of the votes, forcing a runoff.
The Socialist candidate, who is 57 — the exact same age as Al Pacino when he played a Mafioso in Donnie Brasco, so go figure — will insist that France is in need of “change” and that priority must be give to “youth” and “education.” It will be quite a show, and it will be interesting to see how many public schools, in many of which Jewish teachers are physically assaulted as “Zionist vermin” by their own students, he visits during the campaign.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?