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Où sont les fronts républicains d’antan?

Summary:
The Republicans are splitting apart at the seams. In part this simply reflects the traditional guerre des chefs, even if the chefs in question at the moment are both petits. Both François Baroin and Laurent Wauquiez want to become president, but for the moment they must battle for supremacy within LR. Hence Baroin has come out as the "Katy bar the door" candidate against the FN, while Wauquiez has gone all brownshirt-friendly. This is splitting the party: Et puis patatras ! Tout s’est effondré le lendemain à cause de la cacophonie qui règne à LR où un certain nombre d’élus – comme le président de la région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Laurent Wauquiez –, ont jugé prématuré voire carrément non avenu d’évoquer la question, ce qui est le signe d’une profonde fracture entre les modérés du parti et

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The Republicans are splitting apart at the seams. In part this simply reflects the traditional guerre des chefs, even if the chefs in question at the moment are both petits. Both François Baroin and Laurent Wauquiez want to become president, but for the moment they must battle for supremacy within LR. Hence Baroin has come out as the "Katy bar the door" candidate against the FN, while Wauquiez has gone all brownshirt-friendly. This is splitting the party:

Et puis patatras ! Tout s’est effondré le lendemain à cause de la cacophonie qui règne à LR où un certain nombre d’élus – comme le président de la région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Laurent Wauquiez –, ont jugé prématuré voire carrément non avenu d’évoquer la question, ce qui est le signe d’une profonde fracture entre les modérés du parti et son aile plus droitière.
But the reason the leadership is divided is that the party base is divided. Plenty of LR voters, particularly those who stuck with Fillon, see no reason to shun the FN any longer. Especially in the south, where Marion Maréchal Le Pen is the face of the party rather than her aunt, the FN is seen as traditionalist and conservative, exactly the kind of right that Fillon embodied. And this rift in the base is ultimately driving the leadership contest. The results of the legislatives will be crucial in determining the outcome, and the resulting picture will most likely be geographically variegated.
Art Goldhammer
Writer, translator, scholar, blogger on French Politics, affiliate of Harvard's Center for European Studies, writes for The American Prospect, The Nation, etc.

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