Réfléchissez ! (Political Remix)

The captions read:



Hat tip to Zaid Jilany, who wrote a very thorough paper on the surging campaign of French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon famously told French télévision last year that were he the president of France, he would give citizenship and the Legion of Honor (France's highest order of merit) to Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

It has been catching...


  1. Sadly the front runner in the polls right now is Emmanuel Macron.

    A wolf in sheep clothing (he’s a neoliberal) and an illusionist who pulled a prestidigitation’s trick to rebrand his political leanings. I can’t believe the French are falling for it.

    He is more or less a social liberal (your run of the mill right-wing New Democrat).

    During his time in the French Socialist Party (PS), he supported the party's right wing, whose political stance has been associated with so-called "third way" policies (advanced by the like of Bill Clinton in the US, and Tony Blair in The UK), and whose leading spokesman in France has been former prime minister Manuel Valls.

    A member of the PS from 2006 to 2009, Emmanuel Macron was designated deputy secretary-general under François Hollande's first government in 2012 before being appointed Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs in 2014 under the Second Valls Government, where he pushed through "business-friendly reforms". He resigned in August 2016 in order to launch a bid in the 2017 presidential election.

    In November 2016, Macron very opportunistically distanced himself from the sinking establishment ship of the PS party and the presidency of Francois Hollande (the French president is so unpopular in France right now that he didn’t even bother trying to run for a second term), and declared that he would run in the election under the banner of En Marche!, a centrist movement he founded in April 2016 — the clever lad!

    Certainly more clever than his boss Manuel Valse who was defeated in the PS primaries by the insurgent candidacy of the more left-leaning Benoît Hamon, who became the PS's nominee.

    I like Benoît Hamon. His views and the views of Jean-Luc Mélenchon were not so far apart.

    Unfortunately for Benoît Hamon, being the nominee of the PS, he has been carrying the baggage of President Hollande’s unpopular tenure, even though he had quit the government in protest of its unhinged pro-market neo-liberal policies.

    For many left-wing voters, Benoît Hamon’s victory represented hope that the PS would return to its roots.

    Socialist voters hoped he was a long, but still legitimate, shot at the presidency in 2017.

  2. Benoît Hamon, amazingly, was betrayed by the very PS, whose primaries he had won fair and square. The right-wing establishment members of the PS (the equivalent of our DNC “New Democrats”) broke ranks to endorse rival centrist Emmanuel Macron. Defections included Manuel Valls, who had lost the PS primaries to Hamon.

    This is why I call it a prestidigitation trick. And you thought Amercan politics was dirty!

    It’s kind of amazing, if you think of it, how the PS in France (not unlike our Democrats, here) is a pretty treacherous party, eminently hostile and toxic to its left-wing, and to its base (I mean, think of it: they did have a primary, and the voters had chosen Benoît Hamon.)

    In any case, Jean-Luc Mélenchon is really the only viable “left's candidate" remaining in the race. Which does help explain, in a way, how he’s been picking up momentum.

    Jean-Luc Mélenchon was polling at around 11 percent at the start of the year, and is going into the final stretch at approximately 20 percent.

    Emmanuel Macron and Marine Lepen are polling respectively at 25% and 22%.

    Here is a New York Times article on Emmanuel Macron (The Times love him, of course!):

    And here is an interview in English of him on Youtube:

    So, basically, unless Jean-Luc Mélenchon can manage to pull an upset and make it to the runoff, once again we are going to end up with an establishment (right-leaning, so-called centrist) candidate versus FN candidate Marine Lepen.

    Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
    Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
    — Sir John Harington, Epigrams, Book iv, Epistle 5.

  3. "Prosperum ac felix scelus
    Virtus vocatur”
    – Seneca, Hercules Furens

    (Successful and fortunate crime is called virtue.)

  4. My, such drama. Let's face it, successful and fortunate crime is called politics.

    Says who?

    Dixit Ron Suskin (famously quoting and unnamed aide to George W. Bush):

    "The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

    Why did people in France vote for a candidate who, when all is said and done, was the economy minister for the abysmally unpopular government of François Hollande, frankly, I do not know.

    Perhaps the French are not all that bright, after all.

    From where I am standing, it looks to me like a Macron presidency is going to yield the exact same politics as the Hollande presidency. But what do I know?

    Anyway, expect all the political parties to coalesce in a VOTE AGAINST Marine Le Pen, like happened already once before, in 2002, when Jacques Chirac was running against her father Jean-Marie Le Pen.

    Emmanuel Macron will win by a large margin, just like Jacques Chirac did at that time, and for the same reasons.

    For all the dramatization, this gotta be one of the most boring uncontentious election ever.

    Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
    Everybody knows that the captain lied
    Everybody got this broken feeling
    Like their father or their dog just died
    Everybody knows the deal is rotten
    Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
    For your ribbons and bows
    Everybody knows, everybody knows
    That's how it goes
    Everybody knows