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Misery loves company. Americans who have been suffering the agonies of advanced Trumpitis can now turn to France and share a good cry.

France’s presidential politics are as crazy and sleazy as America’s, and equally depressing.

French politics run the gamut from the most noble aspirations of the 1789 revolution to today’s gutter fighting and back-stabbing. The lust for power is always thus.

A late 19th century French president, Jean Casimir-Perier, aptly quipped, “government is constant conspiracy.” He was also a former banker.

Today, we observe the doleful spectacle of France’s politicians locked into a sordid demolition derby that disgusts many voters and heaps opprobrium on the great nation of France which, we should not forget, helped birth the American Republic.

The race began when President Francois Hollande, a dreary little Socialist apparatchik who always looks about to burst into tears, wisely decided not to run for a second term. His polls had nosedived to 4%. Amusingly, the only time they went up in recent memory was a 2% blip when photographers caught ‘Monsieur le president’ sneaking off to a ‘cinq-a-sept’ afternoon dalliance with a young movie actress.

This left political big wigs Nicholas Sarkozy, the respected Alain Juppé, and Hollande’s former prime minister, Manuel Valls (he’s from Barcelona), and Sarkozy’s long-suffering former prime minister Francois Fillon to slug it out. To general amazement, straight-arrow Catholic Fillon soundly beat Valls, Juppé, and Sarkozy in a primary last month.

Sarko was just indicted for illegal fund-raising and faces further charges of taking illegal cash payments from Libya’s late strongman, Muammar Khadaffi. Critics claim Sarkozy organized the murder of Khadaffi to shut him up. He denies the charge.

From darkest left field came two veteran leftists, Bernard Hamon and Jean-Luc Melanchon. Both dreary Maxists looked like they stepped off a stage with Josef Stalin. After five years of Hollande, France’s Left is exhausted and down in the dumps. Their chance of winning is considered nil.

Out of an elegant Louis-XIV box jumped Emmanuel Macron, a 39-year old investment banker who had been working for the mighty Rothschild Bank. Running as a non-party independent, Macron vowed a ‘middle way’ to French disgusted by their politics. His chances look good. The Rothschilds are ‘tres content.’

All these candidates are facing `walkure’ Marine Le Pen and her Front National party. I’ve never interviewed Madame Le Pen but I did spend a good deal of time with her dear old dad, Jean-Marie Le Pen who founded the hard-line, far-right party. Papa Le Pen is a vintage Catholic right-winger along the lines of France’s wartime Vichy government. He wanted Muslims, Jews and other emigrants out of France and a return to the ‘good old’ days of the 1950’s.

ORDER IT NOW

So, too, Marine but she does not say this openly any more. She suppressed the party’s more extreme elements and kicked her dad out in a successful effort to soften the party’s image. She is doing very well in the polls and may even win the first election round in April of the two-round election. Le Pen calls US-led sanctions against Russia, ‘completely stupid’ and has nice things to say about Trump and Russia’s Putin. In fact, her party has received loans from Russian banks.

She promises to exit the European Union, bring back the French franc and adopt Trumpian-style economic nationalism. Problem is, France’s Socialist-engineered regulations make it almost impossible to profitably make industrial products in France. Bully-boy unions can paralyze the nation in a day. Breaking their death-grip on France’s economy will take a near war. Ditching the EU would be a disaster for Europe.

Fillon looked set to win the spring vote thanks to his clean image and support from Catholic voters. But then a satirical newspaper revealed that he had paid his wife and two of his children some one million euros over a decade, supposedly for `administrative’ duties. While such payola is legitimate and common among the political class, this revelation shocked even jaded French. The lily-white Fillon sank to third place.

One was quickly reminded of France’s priapic former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn who was arrested in New York in 2011 for allegedly assaulting a hotel maid. He had been a shoe-in to become French prime minister until the scandal erupted. Many French, and this writer, believe that his rival Nicholas Sarkozy was somehow involved in this honey-trap affair.

Until last week, Emmanuel Macron held the lead. That was until some Russian magazines started accusing him of being a closet homosexual. French are pretty easy-going about sex of all kinds, but Macron’s image of being Mr. Clean was tarnished.

French centrists are now calling on Fillon to stay in the race, or for his rival, former PM Alain Juppé, to re-enter the contest. Sarkozy can’t because he is facing trial. Juppé would be the best candidate and would clobber Le Pen in the second vote.

But who knows what’s next? Certainly the French Republic deserves better than this comedy.

Waiter! Quickly, Another bottle of Bordeaux.

(Republished from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: France 
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  1. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    French politics run the gamut from the most noble aspirations of the 1789 revolution to today’s gutter fighting and back-stabbing. The lust for power is always thus.

    The 1789 revolution was no great shakes either. See Sir Walter Scott on the topic: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/48837/48837-h/48837-h.htm#CHAPTER_IV

    and

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/48837/48837-h/48837-h.htm#CHAPTER_V .

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  2. Until last week, Emmanuel Macron held the lead. That was until some Russian magazines started accusing him of being a closet homosexual.

    “some Russian magazines” accused him of nothing.

    One Nicolas Dhuicq, a French MP, gave an interview to sputniknews. In the interview he accused Macron of being a US puppet. He also alleged that Macron is supported by “very wealthy gay lobby”, but obviously this is not nearly as damning (if at all) as the ‘US puppet’ accusation. Which is, I suppose, exactly why the fake news “the Russians accused Macron of being gay” is being trumpeted by the media.

    https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201702041050340451-macron-us-agent-dhuicq/

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  3. To general amazement, straight-arrow Catholic Fillon soundly beat Valls, Juppé, and Sarkozy in a primary last month.

    The author seems to be a bit confused here … Fillon didn’t “soundly beat” Valls who is not even in his party. Valls is a Socialist and lost to Hamon – who promises to finance a universal income by taxing robots – in the Socialist primary.

    That was until some Russian magazines started accusing him of being a closet homosexual.

    These ideas have been going around for a long time and have nothing to do with Russia. The author is simply repeating, perhaps unwittingly, the propaganda of those who see Russia influence everywhere. [While not of any relevance, Macron will likely become the first Head of State whose spouse is nearly a quarter century older than he is.]

    Barely alluded to by the author, is the rather amazing fact that a person who is essentially unknown is on the verge of becoming President of one of the “great powers”. And the $64,000 question is whether this is entirely by chance or by design, a key element of course being who it was that revealed the compromising evidence about Fillon.

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  4. A few small corrections, if anyone cares:

    > Fillon soundly beat Valls, Juppé, and Sarkozy

    He only beat Juppé and Sarkozy, in the primary on the right. Valls was beaten by Hamon in a different primary, the Socialist one.

    > Macron … who had been working for the mighty Rothschild Bank

    Since 2012 he had been in Hollande’s Socialist government, as adviser to the president, then minister of the Economy. He, like Mélenchon, another quasi-Socialist, but further left, refused to take part in the Socialist primary.

    > French centrists are now calling on Fillon to stay in the race

    Centrists are more likely to favor Macron, or Juppé were he to come back. Fillon is solidly to the right.

    Polls show all candidates handily beating Le Pen in the second round, but Brexit and Trump and worldwide populist rumblings make forecasters nervous. Odds favor Macron, or Fillon if he turns things around. If Macron won, it would be a stunning case of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat for the Socialists, who as the incumbents are widely reviled. But Macron cleverly rebranded himself as an independent less than a year ago.

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  5. Nicholas SarkoCIA was definitely involved in the honey-trap affair. RIP Libya, 2011.

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  6. Ace says:

    Tiberge at GalliaWatch refers to Juppé as “a notorious pro-Islam immigrationist.” That being true, how you can say he’s the best candidate is beyond me.

    You also say that Juppé’s respected. Unfortunately, that I can readily believe.

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  7. The big problem for the National Front is that it tends to be a Le Pen family psychodrama. Marion Marechal Le Pen, whose attitude towards racial dispossession is closer to that of Jean-Marie (her grandfather) than that of Marine (her aunt), may well seek to do to Marine what Marine did to Jean-Marie.

    The closest American equivalent that I can think of to Alain Juppé would be a much younger Bob Dole. Macron is an unsufferable Enarque raised from the cradle to believe that he was put on earth to boss the rest of France around. I’d prefer Jean Luc Mellenchon to Macron; his principles may be the wrong ones, but at least he has some, and he’s more entertaining.

    But isn’t this the kind of thing you get when you have mass participatory, universal suffrage democracy?

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    • Replies: @European-American
    Alain Juppé is a perfect specimen of le cuck français.

    French alt-rightists effectively took him down with the Trumpian epithet "Ali Juppé" for his mild efforts to reach out to Muslim voters.

    It's hard to find an American equivalent, because he is one of those particularly French politicians who seem grown in a test tube to become a member of the ruling class of civil servants. A bit Bush and Romney, I guess, though he does not come from a political dynasty.
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  8. 5371 says:

    There is much to correct in this piece. Others have done some of it before me, but it should be pointed out that:
    JMLP was never a “vintage Catholic right-winger”
    he had no particular connection with “Vichy”
    “Vichy” itself was not a Catholic regime
    JMLP certainly thought, like anyone sane, that Jews are far too influential in France, but there’s no evidence that he ever wanted to expel all of them.
    Far less could anyone ever claim that MLP ever wanted to expel all Jews, or even all Muslims.
    Plenty of industrial products are made profitably in France
    Et cetera, et cetera

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    Agreed. Generally, both Le Pens are, if anything, anti-immigration. Back in the day. most immigrants were from North Africa, and so the father appeared anti-Muslim. Incidentally, many French Jews were sympathetic and supported him. These days, most immigrants are probably from Eastern Europe, and so the daughter is mostly anti-EU.
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  9. @5371
    There is much to correct in this piece. Others have done some of it before me, but it should be pointed out that:
    JMLP was never a "vintage Catholic right-winger"
    he had no particular connection with "Vichy"
    "Vichy" itself was not a Catholic regime
    JMLP certainly thought, like anyone sane, that Jews are far too influential in France, but there's no evidence that he ever wanted to expel all of them.
    Far less could anyone ever claim that MLP ever wanted to expel all Jews, or even all Muslims.
    Plenty of industrial products are made profitably in France
    Et cetera, et cetera

    Agreed. Generally, both Le Pens are, if anything, anti-immigration. Back in the day. most immigrants were from North Africa, and so the father appeared anti-Muslim. Incidentally, many French Jews were sympathetic and supported him. These days, most immigrants are probably from Eastern Europe, and so the daughter is mostly anti-EU.

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  10. I roam the French provinces frequently and generally meet amiable natives who work hard to have a nice life for their families. Outside every mid-sized town one invariably finds the high-rise towers that house the more recent arrivals who are either less motivated, hold more of a grudge, or are bent on dominion over what used to be run by the Ancien Regime, who have retreated to their fortified compounds in the comfortable outskirts of the hipper urban areas. The new arrivals make shopping at the local hypermarche like Cora a less than pleasant experience. Crime is rampant in the centre ville of too many small towns.

    The only thing preventing a le Pen victory (despite a rather weak base) is even more complete domination of the French media by the criminal elite currently running the show.

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  11. Renoman says:

    The EU is already gone, dead, left the building. The British never stick around unless there is money to be made, everyone hates the Muslims, yes everyone, have you heard what they did at the Bataclan?

    Europe has absolutely shit the bed time after time after time. They are done.

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    • Replies: @William D' Alturist
    What is "done" in Europe is M. Draghi & the neoliberal manifesto & antiquated nihilists. Draghi"s attempt to make homosexual robots that can do the "sieg heil" salute AND that can withstand nuclear war didn't sit to well with the French Unions or any other hard working Euro Zone wage slave. IT'S OVER M. DRAGHI...
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  12. Jason Liu says:

    It sounds like the left is so weak in France that it can be decisively crushed by the right nationalist.

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  13. Krollchem says:

    I suspect that Eric Margolis isn’t keeping up with French politics. It is a sick joke to believe, as he does, that “Juppé would be the best candidate and would clobber Le Pen in the second vote.” given his history of corruption:

    In 2004, “A Nanterre court on Friday gave Juppé an 18-month suspended sentence and banned him from holding elected office for a decade, finding him guilty of using Paris taxpayers’ money to pay the salaries of full-time staff from Mr Chirac’s previous party, the RPR.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/feb/04/france.jonhenley

    I am really sick of the anti FN propaganda provided by Mr Margolis and the rest of the European elite. I suggest he spend a few months reviewing the stance of the FN leadership and their depth of understanding of real French society. Other than the FN leadership the rest of the candidates are globalist fools speaking the hollow language of Hillary Clinton with no grasp of reality. I have also viewed too many poor interviews by idiotic reporters of the smart FN leadership. You cannot believe the foot in mouth disease demonstrated by the reporters, especially the jewish women reporter French poodles.

    Having said all this, the French do have a tendency to be somewhat childish and do not want to take responsibility for their actions. Charles De Gaulle tried to make them act like adults and where did it get him?

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  14. Krollchem says:

    Eric Margolis comment “Until last week, Emmanuel Macron held the lead. That was until some Russian magazines started accusing him of being a closet homosexual” was simply gossip.

    For the real dirt on Macron see:
    “French elite chose their new pawn, Emmanuel Macron, former Director of Banque Rothschild”

    http://thesaker.is/french-elite-chose-their-new-pawn-emmanuel-macron-former-director-of-banque-rothschild/

    Turns out that Macron was a long-term director of Banque Rothschild as was Pompidou who staged an insider revolt against Charles De Gaulle. Pompidou destroyed the Bank of France for the Rothschilds and Macron destroyed the French high-tech company Alstom:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/12/02/behind-ges-takeover-of-alstom-energy/

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  15. Krollchem says:

    Eric Margolis comment: “Waiter! Quickly, Another bottle of Bordeaux.”

    Will it be a Rothschild’s Bordeaux? Anyone other than Le Pen for President and the French will be drinking a lot of wine to drown their eventual sorrows. The French also have a lot of cobblestones in place for the start of the Sixth Republic in case they actually sober up.

    For those who believe in utopia there is Hamon (a French Bernie Sanders) who seems to be gaining on Macron.

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  16. The article was worth a read for this alone…

    A late 19th century French president, Jean Casimir-Perier, aptly quipped, “government is constant conspiracy.” He was also a former banker.

    Heh heh heh.

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  17. “France’s Socialist-engineered regulations make it almost impossible to profitably make industrial products in France. “

    Is that why French productivity is higher than the UK’s ? The Frogs are in fact pretty switched on regarding preserving their industrial base.

    My comparison is Cadbury’s, the venerable English confectionery producers whose shareholders sold out to Kraft for a quick buck – Kraft then started moving production to Poland (and also the chocolates now taste of disgusting processed cheese).

    By contrast, when a non-French firm wanted to take over the French yogurt company Danone, the French state, in a move Trump would be proud of, declared the takeover impermissable, as Danone was a ‘strategic industry’.

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  18. @Diversity Heretic
    The big problem for the National Front is that it tends to be a Le Pen family psychodrama. Marion Marechal Le Pen, whose attitude towards racial dispossession is closer to that of Jean-Marie (her grandfather) than that of Marine (her aunt), may well seek to do to Marine what Marine did to Jean-Marie.

    The closest American equivalent that I can think of to Alain Juppé would be a much younger Bob Dole. Macron is an unsufferable Enarque raised from the cradle to believe that he was put on earth to boss the rest of France around. I'd prefer Jean Luc Mellenchon to Macron; his principles may be the wrong ones, but at least he has some, and he's more entertaining.

    But isn't this the kind of thing you get when you have mass participatory, universal suffrage democracy?

    Alain Juppé is a perfect specimen of le cuck français.

    French alt-rightists effectively took him down with the Trumpian epithet “Ali Juppé” for his mild efforts to reach out to Muslim voters.

    It’s hard to find an American equivalent, because he is one of those particularly French politicians who seem grown in a test tube to become a member of the ruling class of civil servants. A bit Bush and Romney, I guess, though he does not come from a political dynasty.

    Read More
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  19. @Renoman
    The EU is already gone, dead, left the building. The British never stick around unless there is money to be made, everyone hates the Muslims, yes everyone, have you heard what they did at the Bataclan?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVq_cAL2BRc

    Europe has absolutely shit the bed time after time after time. They are done.

    What is “done” in Europe is M. Draghi & the neoliberal manifesto & antiquated nihilists. Draghi”s attempt to make homosexual robots that can do the “sieg heil” salute AND that can withstand nuclear war didn’t sit to well with the French Unions or any other hard working Euro Zone wage slave. IT’S OVER M. DRAGHI…

    Read More
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  20. Yeah, French labor certainly deserves admiration for not taking shit from the Man. Bossnapping:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bossnapping

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  21. anon says: • Disclaimer

    France would be a million times better off sans its Muslim, Arab and African newcomers. Don’t expect to ever read this in any Margolis column though.

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  22. krollchem says:

    The Macron campaign is now crying that the Russians are behind Fillon’s campaign and cracking the Macron computers: Richard Ferrand, secretary-general of Macron’s En Marche! (Onwards!) party claimed the “Macron campaign was being hit by “hundreds if not thousands” of attacks probing the campaign’s computer systems from locations inside Russia”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-14/frances-macron-says-he-target-russian-fake-news-campaign

    Then problem with the Macron campaign is that it has no substance. A French comedian recently pointed out that washing machines have more programs than Macron! In effect, there was nothing on the computers that could be cracked (not hacked).

    Macron has also made the mistake of labeling Fillon as a “Putinopile” (If Macron really understood French he would have said Putinophile) or Putin fan. Macron often speaks Engish outside of France which still doesn’t explain the language error.

    As for Fillon, he is is a globalist like Macron and also very corrupt. Le Canard enchaîné has corrected its mistake and now claims that Penelope Fillon earned 831,440 euros for work she doesn’t remember doing.

    Yes the French election is crazy, but they only have three months to express their craziness!

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  23. Krollchem says:

    For more on Macron and the trans-Atlantic Deep State (Military Industrial Intelligence Military Media Complex, or MIIMMC) see:

    “France: Another Ghastly Presidential Election Campaign; the Deep State Rises to the Surface”
    by Diana Johnstone

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/17/france-another-ghastly-presidential-election-campaign-the-deep-state-rises-to-the-surface/

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