Monday, April 24, 2017

U.S. Democrats Should be Concerned About Results of French Presidential Election

There is much to be disappointed with in the first round of France's presidential election. Though The New York Times ("Emmanuel Macron Mounts a Patriot’s Challenge to Marine Le Pen") is celebrating Macron's top finish as a sigh of relief for defenders of liberal democracy (née neoliberal plutocracy), leaders of the Democratic Party in the United States, if they're paying attention, can't be relieved. Benoît Hamon, the standard-bearer of the French equivalent of the Democratic Party, the Socialist Party, received a ridiculous 6.4% of the vote. The scandal-plagued conservative François Fillon received more than three times the votes.

In order for the neoliberal center to triumph it had to go engage in the kind of new party hocus pocus that worked so well for the traditional Republicans in the wake of the 2008 Obama landslide. Macron's En Marche! is another Tea Party, the difference being that En Marche! is organized entirely around the youthful former Rothschild banker, whereas the Tea Party was organized out of a racist, anti-government antipathy for the first black president in U.S. history. The malign effigy that motivates En Marche! is of course Marine Le Pen.

What En Marche! accomplished in France is something that Establishment mouthpieces like Thomas Friedman and David Brooks have been demanding for years -- a new centrist political formation in the United States, one that can join suburban GOP moderates with college-educated liberal Democrats, a party that focuses on neoliberal economic orthodoxy but is socially permissive; in other words, the status quo.

France and Macron prove it can be done. U.S. election law makes it almost impossible. But the right billionaire could pull it off. (Bloomberg flirted with such a presidential run several times.)

Read Yves Smith's excellent "Democrat Disunity: Hypocritical Media Attacks on Sanders" that was posted this morning. The war continues to rage between the discredited Democratic Party leadership and Bernie Sanders, the most popular Dem politician in the country now.

After reading Smith's post, it becomes clear that if the Bernistas were ever successful at wresting control of the Democratic Party from the neoliberals, a U.S. version of En Marche! would quickly take shape.

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