Wednesday, February 15, 2017

"On Our Way" to Where?

Yesterday Adam Nossiter, the Gray Lady's man in Paris, had another story ("Emmanuel Macron Steps Into France’s Political Void") in the national edition puffing Emmanuel Macron's candidacy for the French presidency.

Macron is a lightweight former banker who abandoned the Socialists after a short stint as Hollande's Minister of the Economy to whip up a new party, En Marche! ("On Our Way"), to run for president. Nossiter points out in one of the few sour notes of the article that
When Mr. Macron started his campaign, snickers about his new movement’s name — “En Marche,” or, “On Our Way” — all but drowned out whatever message the young minister was trying to project. “On our way — to what?” the skeptics asked. 
That questions remains largely unanswered even as he now gains traction. 
A small stream of Socialist members of Parliament have signed on, despite threats of excommunication from the party, as well as some business and political leaders.
Where Macron is leading is exactly where we are at -- peak neoliberalism. In other words, En Marche! Ici! ("On Our Way. Here.") That's why the Gray Lady is boosting his candidacy. She would love to discover another Obamaesque politician -- a gifted grifter who can line up the rubes and get them into the big top; keep things the way they are even as everything disintegrates all around us.

Another interesting aspect of Nossiter's story is that the conventional wisdom in France is that Le Pen can't win:
Despite Ms. Le Pen’s best efforts to remake her party, the National Front has traditionally been too toxic for a majority of French to embrace. So even though she currently leads in the polls, hardly anyone expects her to make it through the second round of the country’s two-stage voting this spring to become president.
Hardly anyone, myself included, thought Trump would win.

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