Socialism in, Sarkozy out in France?

posted at 6:01 pm on April 23, 2012 by Morgen Richmond

Not quite yet, as there will be a run-off election on May 6, but it’s not looking good for current French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Story from France24, via Drudge:

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist candidate François Hollande will face off in the second round of France’s presidential election after edging out the far right’s Marine Le Pen in Sunday’s first round of voting. Socialist presidential challenger François Hollande topped the first round of France’s presidential election on Sunday with 28.4 percent of votes, while incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy finished second with 25.5 percent, according to exit polls. Those figures set up a widely expected run-off between Sarkozy and the candidate of France’s main opposition party who led most voter intentions surveys before the first round.

French analysts rushed to speculate on how the whole of the election results would affect the outcome of the May 6 run-off, and on what many saw as the impending return of the Socialist Party to the Elysee Presidential palace and a Socialist-led parliament.

The French left has spent the last 10 years as the country’s main opposition group, and had to digest three consecutive presidential defeats in 1995, 2002 and 2007. Former president François Mitterrand, who won back-to-back elections in 1981 and 1988, remains France’s only Socialist head of state since the end of World War Two.

French polling experts are predicting that the Socialist Hollande will ultimately win the run-off by a comfortable margin so the Sarkozy era is seemingly drawing to a close. Drudge is framing this as perhaps a sign of things to come for President Obama, as a foundering economy is apparently mostly to blame for Sarkozy’s electoral woes. But of course there is at least one key difference for the U.S. – socialism won’t be on the ballot come November. Or will it?

Socialism doesn’t carry the same stigma in other parts of the world as it does here, and conservatives in the U.S. are routinely mocked, even by President Obama himself, for referring either to him or his policies as ‘socialist’. When these accusations aren’t just laughed off completely (and they usually are), they are countered by the argument that even the most progressive Democrats are not calling for an end to free market capitalism, or government ownership of the means of production. But perhaps our liberal defenders of the President would like to explain why even an unabashed Socialist like François Hollande does not seem to be in favor of these either? In fact, in looking through Hollande’s campaign platform I wonder just how many of the policies he favors would be deemed too far left by our more ‘moderate’ progressives here in the U.S. Because I am seeing a lot of familiar themes. Hollande calls for a ‘public investment bank’, higher taxes and the closing of ‘tax loopholes’ for the wealthy, a surcharge on the profits of financial institutions, the right to marriage and adoption for gay couples, universal preschool, higher estate taxes, and more. But strangely, no calls for and end to capitalism or even the nationalization of any segment of the private sector. Hmm, maybe he’s really a closet progressive masquerading as a socialist?

Or could it just possibly be that progressives here in the U.S. are in favor of policies which would reasonably, and uncontroversially, be called ‘socialist’ just about anywhere else in the world? For me the second half of this clip from the Guardian, with Hollande staking out his position on the central debate of the French election, pretty much settles the question.


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They’re jealous that Greece and Spain are beating them to the inevitable socialist bankruptcy.

dentarthurdent on April 23, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Meh, it’s France. Plus ça change, plus la meme chose.

Rixon on April 23, 2012 at 6:07 PM

What does it take to see that Socialism is a sure-fire way to financial ruin??? Do Europeans have their head in the sand, or is France now going to turn to Germany and say “Bail us out. You owe us.”? When does German money run out and when do they secede from the European Union?

Christian Conservative on April 23, 2012 at 6:08 PM

France is heading towards unmitigated disaster, the worst part about this is the state sanctioned multiculturalism, which is a hallamrk of European socialism will become even more firmly entrenched and the spigot of Islamic immigration will increase even further, a few years back the french govt put out a notice on its website that nearly a thousand towns/areas in France were “no-go zones” where the govt had no control and were effectively under mob rule, this was in 2005….

golembythehudson on April 23, 2012 at 6:08 PM

They’re French! Nough said!

KOOLAID2 on April 23, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Nail meet coffin, as far as the Euro is concerned.

Tater Salad on April 23, 2012 at 6:09 PM

The last time France actually worked, was when the Germans occupied it.

keep the change on April 23, 2012 at 6:12 PM

So, what you’re saying is…Hollande is running an Obama style campaign, lie about hope and change and when elected go full bore Socialist?

d1carter on April 23, 2012 at 6:13 PM

le sigh

tom daschle concerned on April 23, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Socialism really never left France, just like communism has be re-defined in Russia as “beta-capitalism”, France longs for an early retirement package, (via entitlement) at their government’s expense…………sound vaguely familiar?

Rovin on April 23, 2012 at 6:13 PM

At least their socialists admit their stripes, say that for them.

The Count on April 23, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Meh….The French never got past Robespierre. Viva la’ Bi-Polar nation.

Limerick on April 23, 2012 at 6:14 PM

What is their unemployment rate again? I have a feeling that is a large part of it, since most of the younger adults and kids probably are not working and would rather have the “wealth distribution” than work.

upinak on April 23, 2012 at 6:15 PM

The last time France actually worked, was when the Germans occupied it.

keep the change on April 23, 2012 at 6:12 PM

OUCH!

Rovin on April 23, 2012 at 6:15 PM

The last time France actually worked, was when the Germans occupied it.

keep the change on April 23, 2012 at 6:12 PM


OUCH!

Rovin on April 23, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Rovin… LOL! Sad but true… Keep, keep it up! :)

upinak on April 23, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Hey, it’s the French Wesley Mouch!

French taxes are already so exorbitant that many professionals and entrepreneurs flee them every day.

Someone needs to tell the French that this approach doesn’t end well…

CorporatePiggy on April 23, 2012 at 6:16 PM

The Dutch government dissolved today.

Good times. Good times.

MJBrutus on April 23, 2012 at 6:17 PM

The Dutch government dissolved today.

Good times. Good times.

MJBrutus on April 23, 2012 at 6:17 PM

linky?

upinak on April 23, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Couldn’t happen to a nicer country.

chimney sweep on April 23, 2012 at 6:17 PM

What is their unemployment rate again? I have a feeling that is a large part of it, since most of the younger adults and kids probably are not working and would rather have the “wealth distribution” than work.

upinak on April 23, 2012 at 6:15 PM

10 percent. The French are unhappy with Sarkozy because they think he’s become “Americanized”

JPeterman on April 23, 2012 at 6:18 PM

So this leaves Germany as the sole saviour of Europe. I shudder to think what the payback will be.

SouthernGent on April 23, 2012 at 6:19 PM

upinak on April 23, 2012 at 6:17 PM

From the WSJ

MJBrutus on April 23, 2012 at 6:19 PM

linky?

upinak on April 23, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte submits resignation to Queen Beatrix

JPeterman on April 23, 2012 at 6:20 PM

SouthernGent on April 23, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Lieberstraum?

Limerick on April 23, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Sarkozy=Romney and Hollande=Obama. The French will jump from the pot into the fire. What’s so hard to understand?

Gladtobehere on April 23, 2012 at 6:23 PM

So this leaves Germany as the sole saviour of Europe. I shudder to think what the payback will be.

SouthernGent on April 23, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Germany would have to employ Obama’s redistribution of wealth policies SG. Of course when they run out of “other people’s money” to back the rest of Europe, I’ll give ya one guess who will be printing more money?

Rovin on April 23, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Why is the Champs Elyse lined with trees? Because the Germans prefer to march in the shade….

The French used to be so much tougher on their borders – “your mother was a hamster and your father smellled of elllderberries – you dirty English kaaaaniggits…. Come back and we will taunt you a second time..”

dentarthurdent on April 23, 2012 at 6:27 PM

This is what happens when a so-called “conservative” is given power and doesn’t cut the size of government.

It’ll be ten times worse IF Willard is elected when he fails to cut government. No Balls – No Blue Chips … just ask Sarkozy.

HondaV65 on April 23, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Too bad, I liked Sarkozy. He once gave a speech to the US congress about what the USA meant to him, describing individual liberty as our path to prosperity. It was like listening to Rush.

bernverdnardo1 on April 23, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Sarkozy will get the lePen votes in the runoff. I predict he will win by the skin of his teeth.

crosspatch on April 23, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Lieberstraum?

Limerick on April 23, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Do you mean lebensraum (living space)?

dentarthurdent on April 23, 2012 at 6:31 PM

dentarthurdent on April 23, 2012 at 6:27 PM

LOL! Yeah, the Conqueror was the last real man that nation ever made :-)

MJBrutus on April 23, 2012 at 6:32 PM

So this leaves Germany as the sole saviour of Europe. I shudder to think what the payback will be.

SouthernGent on April 23, 2012 at 6:19 PM

When the rest of Europe collapses, the German economy, which depends on exports to Europe, will fall as well. Here’s an article on who’s collapsing today: European Splintering Escalates: Dutch Government Falls; Slovakia Government Collapsed in March; Czech Government Collapse Coming Right Up

Gladtobehere on April 23, 2012 at 6:32 PM

My money is on Nico to pull it off.

He reminds me of a bunch of Democrat ballot suffers from Chicago or Massachusetts. On to Victory!!!!!!!!

patch on April 23, 2012 at 6:35 PM

LOL! Yeah, the Conqueror was the last real man that nation ever made :-)

MJBrutus on April 23, 2012 at 6:32 PM

I probably shouldn’t like the French jokes so much since I have a lot of French-Canadian ancestry – but it’s offset by Scottish and American Indian blood.

dentarthurdent on April 23, 2012 at 6:35 PM

The last time France actually worked, was when the Germans occupied it.

keep the change on April 23, 2012 at 6:12 PM

One good thing about the French: they are always there when they need us…

ghostwalker1 on April 23, 2012 at 6:36 PM

2 excellent articles – one from the Times and the other from the Telegraph:

Voting for Yesterday in France

Resist We Much on April 23, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Look on the bright side – with hollande, france’s economy will quickly and catastrophically collapse and take the rest of the euro-trash socialist union with it down the toilet. Then all Americans will, hopefully, be shocked well beyond the effects of socialism’s failure in Greece to see the magnitude of the ultimate, disastrous results of socialist extremism. That should be fear enough to get an overwhelming majority to turn away from ALL of the policies of the US d-cRAT socialist extremists and restore America to its capitalist, conservative roots.

TeaPartyNation on April 23, 2012 at 6:37 PM

One good thing about the French: they are always there when they need us…

ghostwalker1 on April 23, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Ya – they helped us ONCE, and we’ve been on the hook to keep saving their sorry butts over and over ever since.

dentarthurdent on April 23, 2012 at 6:38 PM

When these accusations aren’t just laughed off completely (and they usually are), they are countered by the argument that even the most progressive Democrats are not calling for an end to free market capitalism, or government ownership of the means of production.

Socialism is not necessarily about the old communist and unionist dreams of ending all private property and nationalizing all means of production. There was always a “reformist” socialist tradition that advocated redistribution and social control of property through regulation rather than state ownership. Its social control that undermines the sovereignity of the individual nonetheless and is therfore rightly called socialism.

Valkyriepundit on April 23, 2012 at 6:39 PM

We elected a socialist/communist…we’re no one to cast the first stone. Nothing will change until socialism has brought most of the world to the brink of ruin. Then, women may decide that voting for socialists isn’t a very good idea.

cajunpatriot on April 23, 2012 at 6:40 PM

dentarthurdent on April 23, 2012 at 6:38 PM

I’ve been hearing reports lately that every night when Euro-Disney closes and sets off fireworks, Paris surrenders again.

ghostwalker1 on April 23, 2012 at 6:40 PM

The socialist want a return to ‘the good old days’. Little do they realize those days are gone, gone, gone. And the Germans aren’t about to let them suck at the Euro money teat any longer.

GarandFan on April 23, 2012 at 6:41 PM

The Dutch government dissolved today.

Good times. Good times.

MJBrutus on April 23, 2012 at 6:17 PM

following into the steps of their tinier neighbor, Belgium who finally got a government after a record year and a half without one….great…

jimver on April 23, 2012 at 6:43 PM

2 excellent articles – one from the Times and the other from the Telegraph:

Voting for Yesterday in France

Resist We Much on April 23, 2012 at 6:37 PM

great article…

jimver on April 23, 2012 at 6:44 PM

ghostwalker1 on April 23, 2012 at 6:40 PM

That’s a good one.

I also like one from an old radio bit – “Manly Man’s Advice for Manly Men”. With a French colleague pain-in-the-@ss at a French restaurant, Mr Manly can’t take the arrogance any more – one recommended response – “oh look at the menu, here’s a sandwich that’s a tongue between 2 buns…. wasn’t that the standard French greeting for the German army over the first half of the century?”

dentarthurdent on April 23, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Après Sarkozy, le déluge.

Buy Danish on April 23, 2012 at 6:46 PM

When the rest of Europe collapses, the German economy, which depends on exports to Europe, will fall as well. Here’s an article on who’s collapsing today: European Splintering Escalates: Dutch Government Falls; Slovakia Government Collapsed in March; Czech Government Collapse Coming Right Up

Gladtobehere on April 23, 2012 at 6:32 PM

That article is misleading. Slovakia’s government collapsed in October over bailouts for Greece. Their election was this past March.

Czech Republic government is all about corruption from within. They have not gone on the Euro yet.

JPeterman on April 23, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Too bad, I liked Sarkozy. He once gave a speech to the US congress about what the USA meant to him, describing individual liberty as our path to prosperity. It was like listening to Rush.

bernverdnardo1

Marco Rubio has that same affect.
Great speachifing and lousy when voting on the big things.

They like that bi-partisanship crapola and then forget who brought them to the dance.

I hate being treated like the poor relation.

Typicalwhitewoman on April 23, 2012 at 6:49 PM

So this leaves Germany as the sole saviour of Europe. I shudder to think what the payback will be.

SouthernGent on April 23, 2012 at 6:19 PM

yep, Hollande has vowed that he’s not going to adhere to the spending cuts agreed on by Merkel and Sarko…Sarko still has a good chance in the second tour, according to IPSOS, they estimate he’d get 54% of the vote in the second tour…guess we shall see..

jimver on April 23, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Sarkozy will get the lePen votes in the runoff. I predict he will win by the skin of his teeth.

crosspatch on April 23, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Dont be so sure about that. LePens nationalists have on many issues much more in common with the socialists than with the gaulists. Being anti-free-trade and anti-globalization are litmus tests in France and gaulists barely pass. And Sarkozy is as pro-Wester a President as France can have, while socialists and nationalists resent NATO and especially America. LePen for example wants to leave NATO and create a special relationship with Russia, based on the US/UK model.

Valkyriepundit on April 23, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Sarkozy will get the lePen votes in the runoff. I predict he will win by the skin of his teeth.

crosspatch on April 23, 2012 at 6:31 PM

they’re kinda like the paulistas here, not clear who they’re going to vote for, or if they will…I doubt that they will vote for Hollande in great numbers either, more likely they will sit the elections out, while the communists (11% in the first tour) will no doubt give their vote to Hollande….so, indeed while Sarko still has a chance, it’s going to be veeery close…

jimver on April 23, 2012 at 7:00 PM

National Socialists in France again?

Dollayo on April 23, 2012 at 7:04 PM

So this leaves Germany as the sole saviour of Europe. I shudder to think what the payback will be.

SouthernGent on April 23, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Forcing the rest of Europe to eat their awful food. Head cheese paella for everyone!

ardenenoch on April 23, 2012 at 7:13 PM

What do do you expect? Sarkozy was never a friend of freedom, though he’s supposed to be a sort of conservative. I suppose in France, conservative means the mildest form of leftist. I don’t doubt we’ll see the same from Romney, handing it back to a Democrat in 2017.

rickv404 on April 23, 2012 at 7:19 PM

It’s pointless to have a conservative party in a nation that will hire socialists intermittently. Are you going to start a business if conservatives are elected? It takes years before you turn a profit, and by that time the socialists will be back in power to destroy you. If you are conservative, you need to purge the socialists or start a new country and ban socialism in its constitution.

Buddahpundit on April 23, 2012 at 7:28 PM

So this leaves Germany as the sole saviour of Europe. I shudder to think what the payback will be.

SouthernGent on April 23, 2012 at 6:19 PM

This’ll give you an idea of how the Germans are feeling right now:

“Somebody will say to me, ‘Michael you’re a nice guy, but can you explain to me why I have to work until 67 and I get [as a pension] 46 percent of my final salary, while a Greek guy is retiring at 57 with 94 percent of his last salary?’ ” In the past two years, German journalists have coined the word Wutbürger—a rough translation might be “rageniks”—to describe such people.”

Über Alles After All

Resist We Much on April 23, 2012 at 7:32 PM

[quote]But perhaps our liberal defenders of the President would like to explain why even an unabashed Socialist like François Hollande does not seem to be in favor of these either?[/quote]

An unabashed socialist? said who? The main tenet of Socialism is that all means of production (all companies) should belong to the people because capitalism=exploitation. The Parti Socialiste is not a socialist party but a social-democrat one, just like the Labour in the UK and the SPD in Germany. Last time they were in power (97-02) They actually privatized more state-owned companies than the right wing coalition who held the power between 93 and 97. I find it hilarious that because you failed to find evidence of socialism in Obama, you simply decided to change the definition of socialism.

[quote]Sarko still has a good chance in the second tour, according to IPSOS, they estimate he’d get 54% of the vote in the second tour…[/quote]

lol

There hasn’t been a single poll putting Sarkozy ahead of Holland in the runoff in a long long time…

NewtRomney on April 23, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Part of France’s problem is the 10% Muslim population, which votes 99% Socialist (many of them can’t get work or don’t try, and live off the dole). It gives the Socialists a huge voting block, and unless the French can keep Sarkozy and beef up their immigration restrictions, France is lost…if it isn’t already.

(Personally, I see this as a real tragedy, as I spent a few years in France in my youth, and had originally hoped to retire there someday…but not anymore)

EyeSurgeon on April 23, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte submits resignation to Queen Beatrix

JPeterman on April 23, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Evening, sir! Have our friends in Belgium finally gotten around to forming a government? The last time that I took note, Belgium had been without one for over a year.

Resist We Much on April 23, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Evening, sir! Have our friends in Belgium finally gotten around to forming a government? The last time that I took note, Belgium had been without one for over a year.

Resist We Much on April 23, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Why yes, yes they do………….finally, but it’s another Socialist.

18 Months After Vote, Belgium Has Government

JPeterman on April 23, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Evening, sir! Have our friends in Belgium finally gotten around to forming a government? The last time that I took note, Belgium had been without one for over a year.

Resist We Much on April 23, 2012 at 7:34 PM

yep, in Dec last year…

jimver on April 23, 2012 at 7:43 PM

All the candidates in the French elections, would be in a Democrat primary in the US – and they’d all be positioned on the left of the spectrum.

Sarkozy is your typical law and order blue-dog democrat. This is a guy who said “yes, maybe I’m a socialist now” and who campaigned promising to make France “stronger than the markets”. Has his government instituted any conservative/right-wing policy?

Marine Le Pen is to the left of Hollande on economic issues, pro-abortion and even her opposition to immigrants is based on a defense of the secularism and laicism (unlike her dad’s appeal to traditional values and xenophobia). It’s amazing how CW and the press still see the FN as a right-wing party. Even their electoral base is now almost fully comprised of former communists and hard-left voters. Their strongholds are the former communist strongholds. It’s a low-income, less educated, blue collar working class, non-religious, electorate that in France tends to vote left. Her program was all about having the government reigning on bankers and big corporations, raising the minimum salaries, implementing tariffs on imports, tax “the rich”, stimulate the economy by spending and creating a “parental salary” ( paying $1,000 to any dad/mom who decides to remain unemployed – I’m serious). She wants to get out of NATO and is always crying how France needs to build alliances with Russia to fight “American imperialism”. There isn’t a single Democrat governor, senator or congressman who’s to the left of Le Pen on foreign policy, economic, trade or fiscal issues. A single one.

Hollande is a typical European socialist – he’d be your very liberal urban Democrat in the US with a class warfare rhetoric. Basically Obama unplugged or the “professional left”.

Mélenchon is a Chavez, Castro and Chinese regime supporter who wants a 100% marginal tax rate on the rich (his definition of rich includes pretty much every upper middle class household), the nationalization of large companies and institute special taxes on the Catholic church (probably to finance Muslim “cultural centers”). Kind of nutjobs you find occasionally on DailyKos and such.

The other candidates are trotskyists, a neo-Gaullist (think Chirac) and a la rouchite (who actually doesn’t sound any less sane than anyone else).

Yes, France is doomed.

joana on April 23, 2012 at 7:45 PM

So this leaves Germany as the sole saviour of Europe. I shudder to think what the payback will be.

SouthernGent on April 23, 2012 at 6:19 PM

And where would they (and all of entitlement Europe) be if not for our treasure and people providing for their defense?

jazzuscounty on April 23, 2012 at 7:48 PM

dentarthurdent on April 23, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Last one, I promise:

Q: How many Frenchmen does it take to defend Paris?
A: No one knows, it’s never been tried.

ghostwalker1 on April 23, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Thanks, jimver & JPeterman. I am still think split is likely before all is said and done. The Dutch-speaking Flemish don’t like the French-speaking Walloons, whom they believe are lazy, welfare-staters, etc.

Resist We Much on April 23, 2012 at 7:52 PM

So this leaves Germany as the sole saviour of Europe. I shudder to think what the payback will be.

SouthernGent on April 23, 2012 at 6:19 PM

yep, Hollande has vowed that he’s not going to adhere to the spending cuts agreed on by Merkel and Sarko…Sarko still has a good chance in the second tour, according to IPSOS, they estimate he’d get 54% of the vote in the second tour…guess we shall see..

jimver on April 23, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Hollande has also vowed to make Germany “pay its fair share” to the gnomes in Brussels to help bail out the PIIGS countries- and of course France. He also said that all social programs will expand under his stewardship, and yes, there will be money to pay for it all- courtesy of ever-higher taxes and the IMF.

Translation; Germany will open its treasury or else. And the United States will provide what Germany does not.

Exactly how he believes he will “ensure” all this he doesn’t say. I have a sneaking suspicion that he somehow thinks a revival of the Versailles Treaty can be pulled off. “Reparations” ad infinitum for real and (especially) imagined wrongs, no doubt.

If Hollande isn’t careful, he could lead France into learning the same lesson from Germany that Athens learned from Sparta during the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC), that being;

When the memetic bada**es of your civilization tell you “We don’t care what sort of mess you make of yourselves and/or others, just leave us alone”, you are well advised to take them at their word.

cheers

eon

eon on April 23, 2012 at 7:55 PM

How long before France succumbs to a Caliphate state? They are well on the way.

MaxSplinters on April 23, 2012 at 8:00 PM

That article is misleading. Slovakia’s government collapsed in October over bailouts for Greece. Their election was this past March.

Czech Republic government is all about corruption from within. They have not gone on the Euro yet.

JPeterman on April 23, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Peterman, I don’t follow these events as closely as you do. My understanding, based on reading a few articles on the internet, is that the Slovakian government called for new elections over the Greek bailout (which somehow passed anyway). When the elections were held several months later, local issues of corruption became more important. Did the government fall when it called for elections over the Greek Bailout? Or did it fall when it lost the elections over corruption? You viewed it based on the bailout, while the article I mentioned viewed it based solely on local corruption. I think you’re right to point out that there’s more to the story than was written. It’s just complicated.

Gladtobehere on April 23, 2012 at 8:24 PM

joana on April 23, 2012 at 7:45 PM

M-me Le Pen is borderline psychotic and you’re right about Mélenchon, he is a clone of Chavez, he said times and again that France should nationalize Total, so you can imagine…the fact that in between them they secured 30% of the French vote is the most worrisome part…so, yeah, regardless who wins, France won’t be doing stellar…so, yeah, I agree with you, regardless who wins, France will do less than stellar…but that was to be expected, today’s French are so attached to the idea of a welfare state (even if they are not on benefits), that will be a difficult mindset to break, especially with the guilt-ridden bobos (the so-called bourgeois bohemians) and the new ‘arrivals (immigrants) bringing their families with them. Welfare in France has developed from a safety net into an accepted lifestyle, same like here, in the US…only here it’s not that entrenched yet..

jimver on April 23, 2012 at 8:53 PM

The can will continue to be kicked down the road until the Germans decide to foreclose on their collateral. That’s when things will get “wery eenterestink”…

Neo-con Artist on April 23, 2012 at 8:54 PM

they’re kinda like the paulistas here, not clear who they’re going to vote for, or if they will…I doubt that they will vote for Hollande in great numbers either, more likely they will sit the elections out, while the communists (11% in the first tour) will no doubt give their vote to Hollande….so, indeed while Sarko still has a chance, it’s going to be veeery close…

jimver on April 23, 2012 at 7:00 PM

I seem to remember an election once in the past where le Pen got an unexpectedly large percentage of the vote and it turned out it was more of a “protest” vote designed to signify dissatisfaction but not designed to actually vote le Pen into office. The voters were actually quite shocked that time that le Pen got so close to winning a spot in the runoff and were quite relieved he didn’t.

If Hollande wins, it is the end of the Euro, I think.

I think Sarkozy will win, just barely, I don’t think the French *really* want the same sort of government that Greece, Spain, and Portugal had, I think they are just sending a “message of protest” at this stage.

crosspatch on April 23, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Gladtobehere on April 23, 2012 at 8:24 PM

You can start reading here. The Government fell over the bailouts, even though they finally approved. Slovakia is the 2nd poorest country in the EU and many thought our portion of bailout money was too much or not in proportion.

Slovakia rejects enhanced bail-out fund, government falls

The corruption issues are happening in both Slovakia and Czech Republic. I see that from that article you posted that there big protests in Prague over the weekend and I haven’t spoke with my family there to get the details.

Slovakia had their election in March, turnout was low (only 54% compared to the usual 59 or 60%) and the socialist who vowed to raise taxes on everyone, including corporations, was elected. U.S. Steel is one of the biggest employers in Slovakia and are now threatening to the leave the country.

A side note, that picture included in that article from Telegraph, the man popping out of the manhole, is a huge tourist attraction (it is literally right in the middle of the sidewalk at a crosswalk) and is about 3 blocks from my home that we occupied when I was born………..except we were on the wrong side of the Danube where all the Communist concrete buildings are.

We were shipped to Prague when I was about 7 for my fathers work.

JPeterman on April 23, 2012 at 9:12 PM

If Hollande wins, it is the end of the Euro, I think.

He would love that, which is quite perverse since the whole push for One Europe was a French idea. The problem for whomever wins is this:

France needs to borrow $233 billion by the end of the year.

Resist We Much on April 23, 2012 at 9:14 PM

I think Sarkozy will win, just barely, I don’t think the French *really* want the same sort of government that Greece, Spain, and Portugal had, I think they are just sending a “message of protest” at this stage.

crosspatch on April 23, 2012 at 9:08 PM

hopefully, but it will be really close…the rest of the candidates are a zoo, taken together or separately… as for Hollande, he is simply untested and clueless, lib incompetent type, kinda like Obama here, so you can imagine their choices…Sarko is not ideal, but it’s their best bet at a semblance of normality in the future…with Hollande, they will be simply doomed and I am talking in a rather short time…

jimver on April 23, 2012 at 9:23 PM

If Hollande wins, it is the end of the Euro, I think.

crosspatch on April 23, 2012 at 9:08 PM

that is correct…

jimver on April 23, 2012 at 9:24 PM

He would love that, which is quite perverse since the whole push for One Europe was a French idea. The problem for whomever wins is this:

France needs to borrow $233 billion by the end of the year.

Resist We Much on April 23, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Did you read this?

François Hollande’s potential spending spree in France has caused concern in austerity Europe

Maybe there is hope for Sarkozy?

JPeterman on April 23, 2012 at 9:25 PM

He would love that, which is quite perverse since the whole push for One Europe was a French idea.

Resist We Much on April 23, 2012 at 9:14 PM

ah, the contradictions and cognitive dissonances of the leftist minds, you can write a novel about that :-)…

jimver on April 23, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Hollande’s economic talent comes from US academia (MIT and UC Berkeley) which means it is from fantasy land. It is all theoretical economics with no foundation in practice. It would be very much like an Obama project, a lot of money spent with very little to no measurable result. In fact, there is the argument that the United States’ anemic economic growth has been DESPITE Obama’s policies, not because of them. (See Kudlow’s radio show for 4/21).

crosspatch on April 23, 2012 at 9:34 PM

The ant and the grasshopper fairy tale makes socialism understandable.

mixplix on April 23, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Can somebody just threaten France so they’ll surrender already? Let’s send in the Rhode Island State Police – that should do it.

DHChron on April 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM

Can somebody just threaten France so they’ll surrender already? Let’s send in the Rhode Island State Police – that should do it.

DHChron on April 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM

The Americans would declare neutrality to make a buck.

lexhamfox on April 23, 2012 at 10:18 PM

dentarthurdent on April 23, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Last one, I promise:

Q: How many Frenchmen does it take to defend Paris?
A: No one knows, it’s never been tried.

ghostwalker1 on April 23, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Yep, funny, but not factual. The French Armed Forces are a good example of the old saying, “lions led by donkeys.” Their 1940 collapse was a result of stupid tactics and subversion of the government by right and left-wing collectivists, as a direct result of the brutal bloodletting they took in 1914-1918.

ebrown2 on April 24, 2012 at 12:05 AM

The last time France actually worked, was when the Germans occupied it.

keep the change on April 23, 2012 at 6:12 PM

That whole De Gaulle thing was great, huh?

Yep, funny, but not factual. The French Armed Forces are a good example of the old saying, “lions led by donkeys.” Their 1940 collapse was a result of stupid tactics and subversion of the government by right and left-wing collectivists, as a direct result of the brutal bloodletting they took in 1914-1918.

ebrown2 on April 24, 2012 at 12:05 AM

Is there such a thing?

Just wondering.

98ZJUSMC on April 24, 2012 at 1:07 AM

they are countered by the argument that even the most progressive Democrats are not calling for an end to free market capitalism, or government ownership of the means of production. But perhaps our liberal defenders of the President would like to explain why even an unabashed Socialist like François Hollande does not seem to be in favor of these either?

There is a reason for that. Socialism requires a vigorous free market to survive.

Ironic, no?

Thus, we have the current push to Crony Socialism.

98ZJUSMC on April 24, 2012 at 1:12 AM

[quote]But perhaps our liberal defenders of the President would like to explain why even an unabashed Socialist like François Hollande does not seem to be in favor of these either?[/quote]

An unabashed socialist? said who? The main tenet of Socialism is that all means of production (all companies) should belong to the people because capitalism=exploitation. The Parti Socialiste is not a socialist party but a social-democrat one, just like the Labour in the UK and the SPD in Germany. Last time they were in power (97-02) They actually privatized more state-owned companies than the right wing coalition who held the power between 93 and 97. I find it hilarious that because you failed to find evidence of socialism in Obama, you simply decided to change the definition of socialism.

NewtRomney on April 23, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Whew – I was very scared for a moment – I feared that you weren’t going to tell us that 0bamessiah’s handling of GM/Chrysler was the single greatest example of advocacy for capitalism in human history, an act which naturally was preformed by history’s preeminent anti-socialist! Thanks for not letting the team down! :)

Bizarro No. 1 on April 24, 2012 at 5:44 AM

“…which naturally was preformed by history’s preeminent anti-socialist!”

Bizarro No. 1 on April 24, 2012 at 5:44 AM

“preformed”, performed, who’s paying attention? :)

Bizarro No. 1 on April 24, 2012 at 5:50 AM

As usual when Allah strays outside the borders of the USA (and sometimes even within those borders)he retails second hand information then uses it to throw in some red meat to pimp traffic. He can’t work in a Palin reference which is his usual ploy so instead he tosses in “socialism” to attract the baying hounds.
What would have been more useful here is to have spotlighted the fact that Marine Le Pen, leading the National Front, polled 19%,more or less turning the French political scene into a three party system. He could have mentioned that the French media/academic/plotical elite were also shocked by the amount of support that she got from new voters and are concerned that in the next parliamentary election the Front might well gain a large number of seats and therefore become a major influence in everyday politics.
He might even have pointed out that the Front has a great deal of support amongst blue collar workers and in the French equivalent of flyover country.
But he didn’t so, as usual he missed the wood for the trees..

callingallcomets on April 24, 2012 at 9:22 AM

For a more measured viewpoint on Marine Le Pen have a read of this. She stands for everything loathed by the UK Guardian but, nevertheless, even they have to acknowledge she and her party are a force to be reckoned with…

callingallcomets on April 24, 2012 at 9:31 AM

So now getting some of other people’s money sounds good to a majority of the French people. Germany needs to get out of the Union, now, if it wants to save itself. The grand experiment is not working. I hope the UK is watching.

Kissmygrits on April 24, 2012 at 9:55 AM

France is a socialist country, which is not wrong in itself. Austerity is culturally unacceptable there. They will unfortunately pay for it because the times call for it. This guy presents himself as the protector of France’s social benefits… all he’s doing is setting himself up to take the blame when some not-so-distant time from now the sh1t will hit the fan.

AlexB on April 24, 2012 at 11:54 AM

A great military power and the perfect socialist regime.

A primer on the history of French Warfare:

Gallic Wars – Lost. In a war whose ending foreshadows the next 2000 years of French history, France is conquered by of all things, an Italian.

Hundred Years War – Mostly lost, saved at last by female schizophrenic who inadvertently creates The First Rule of French Warfare; “France’s armies are victorious only when not led by a Frenchman.”

Italian Wars – Lost. France becomes the first and only country to ever lose two wars when fighting Italians.

Wars of Religion – France goes 0-5-4 against the Huguenots.

Thirty Years War – France is technically not a participant, but manages to get invaded anyway. Claims a tie on the basis that eventually the other participants started ignoring her.

War of Devolution- Tied. Frenchmen take to wearing red flowerpots as chapeaux.

The Dutch War- Tied.

War of the Augsburg League/King William’s War/French and Indian War – Lost, but claimed as a tie. Three ties in a row induces deluded Frogophiles the world over to label the period as the height of French military power.

War of the Spanish Succession – Lost. The War also gave the French their first taste of a Marlborough, which they have loved every since.

American Revolution – In a move that will become quite familiar to future Americans, France claims a win even though the English colonists saw far more action. This is later known as “de Gaulle Syndrome,” and leads to the Second Rule of French Warfare; “France only wins when America does most of the fighting.”

French Revolution – Won, primarily due the fact that the opponent was also French.

The Napoleonic Wars- Lost. Temporary victories (remember the First Rule!) due to leadership of a Corsican, who ended up being no match for a British footwear designer.

The Franco-Prussian War – Lost. Germany first plays the role of drunk Frat boy to France’s ugly girl home alone on a Saturday night.

World War I – Tied and on the way to losing, France is saved by the United States. Thousands of French women find out what it’s like to not only sleep with a winner, but one who doesn’t call her “Fraulein.” Sadly, widespread use of condoms by American forces forestalls any improvement in the French bloodline.

World War II – Lost. Conquered French liberated by the United States and Britain just as they finish learning the Horst Wessel Song.

War in Indochina – Lost. French forces plead sickness, take to bed with the Dien Bien Flu.

Algerian Rebellion- Lost. Loss marks the first defeat of a western army by a Non-Turkic Muslim force since the Crusades, and produces the First Rule of Muslim Warfare; “We can always beat the French.” This rule is identical to the First Rules of the Italians, Russians, Germans, English, Dutch, Spanish, Vietnamese and Esquimaux.

War on Terrorism – France keeping in mind its recent history, surrenders to Germans and Muslims just to be safe. Attempts to surrender to Vietnamese ambassador fail after he takes refuge in a McDonald’s.

acyl72 on April 24, 2012 at 1:46 PM

I don’t give a rat’s ass who France chooses to lead them further down the crap tubes, just as long as we’re not on the hook to…”subsidize” the coming disaster. It’s high time we quit paying for Europe’s lavish entitlements and let them steal their own people’s money to pay for it. Then they can find out how much they enjoy having their own quality of life lowered just to pretend that it’s been magically raised.

mintycrys on April 24, 2012 at 2:49 PM

acyl72 on April 24, 2012 at 1:46 PM

ROFLMFAO
THIS needs to be taught in schools in world history.

dentarthurdent on April 24, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Hollande’s platform is essentially the same as Obama’s. But that does not mean Obama will win if Hollande is victorious. The French will not be voting for Hollande; they will be voting against the status quo – not something that would help Obama.

Colony14 on April 24, 2012 at 5:54 PM

The last time France actually worked, was when the Germans occupied it.

keep the change on April 23, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Le ouch. That’s all the more wince-worthy because it’s true!

MelonCollie on April 24, 2012 at 9:20 PM

acyl72 on April 24, 2012 at 1:46 PM

You just made my personal Internet archive. That list was succinct yet comprehensive…and your included commentary was just hilarious!

MelonCollie on April 24, 2012 at 9:32 PM