Wednesday , September 18 2019
Home / Tag Archives: Art Goldhammer: French Politics

Tag Archives: Art Goldhammer: French Politics

“Grenelle” galvaudé

Share the post "“Grenelle” galvaudé" France is currently conducting a “Grenelle des violences conjugales,” the latest in a long series of “Grenelles.” Young folks may not know the origin of this peculiar appellation for a political form to which the French are peculiarly drawn. Here is some background. The word comes to us from the “Accords de Grenelle” of 1968. The word “Grenelle” refers to the rue de Grenelle, which happens to be the seat of the Ministry of Labor. In...

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Showing Some Moix-ie

Share the post "Showing Some Moix-ie" Moxie (U.S. slang): “force of character, determination, nerve.” Or chutzpah, one might say, as Yann Moix, the avowed (ex?) anti-Semite who claims to have abjured his former prejudice to become a student of the Talmud, surely knows. Following the latest Moix scandal, the French might wish to modify the American slang for their own usage: “Moix-ie,” the impudent exploitation of tearful televised apologetics. I won’t rehearse the...

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La rentrée (la mienne aussi)

Share the post "La rentrée (la mienne aussi)" My apologies for the long hiatus in this blog. I’ve been translating Thomas Piketty’s new book, Capitalism and Ideology, which will be out in France on Sept. 12 and in English next spring. The manuscript was nearly a thousand pages, so I’ve been busy. But it’s done. Time to get back to French politics. It was less than nine months ago that pundits were speculating about Macron’s mental health. The Gilets Jaunes had...

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The Republicans Temporize

Share the post "The Republicans Temporize" With the news that Les Républicains are about to choose Christian Jacob as their new leader, it is clear that the party has no idea where it intends to go in the future. Christian Jacob is one of those politicians who has always gone wherever the power is at the moment, whether to follow Jacques Chirac, his first master, or Sarkozy, Copé, or Fillon in the years that followed. Fillon is supposed to have called him Rantanplan,...

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Whither Europe?

Share the post "Whither Europe?" It is now two weeks since the European Parliament elections, and the dust has yet to settle. It was a remarkable election in many ways–unprecedented, really. Normally, EP elections are referenda on incumbents; domestic issues outweigh European issues. It would be too much to say that domestic issues took a back seat this time; of course they always matter, or at any rate the “throw the bums out” reflex always counts for something. But...

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From de Gaulle to Tartuffe

Share the post "From de Gaulle to Tartuffe" To understand the collapse of Les Républicains, one has only to re-run one of the televised debates that preceded yesterday’s European elections. France2 had asked each of party representative to start off with a show-and-tell: each was to present an object illustrating the deep meaning of his or her party’s campaign. Le Pen’s choice was brilliant: she showed an image of a truck driver, one Loïc, who had suffered, she said,...

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Hot Take on the European Elections

Share the post "Hot Take on the European Elections" The polls were wrong. Despite a lackluster campaign, interest in this election was higher than predicted, and turnout rose. The contest between Macron and Le Pen ended about as expected, with Macron holding his own despite six months of Gilets Jaunes protests–a victory of sorts. But the big news was the collapse of the Republicans, who finished with only 8, despite polls showing that François-Xavier Bellamy–a...

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Mayday

Share the post "Mayday" May 1, the tradition fête des travailleurs et travailleuses, turned out not be quite as apocalyptic as the authorities had warned, perhaps exaggerating a bit in order to frighten away potential marchers. Neither was it the convergence des luttes that Jean-Luc Mélenchon had called for. Most of all, it did not signify a renewal of the trade union movement, as Philippe Martinez, the leader of the CGT, had to be exfiltrated from the line of march, or...

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The Contradictions of Populism

Share the post "The Contradictions of Populism" Since November 17 of last year, we have been regaled every Saturday with the lament of the Gilets Jaunes, those salt-of-the-earth French men and women who join together to protest the bloated state of pampered civil servants who batten themselves at taxpayer expense while good people in the provinces struggle to make ends meet. But at least one of those pampered civil servants turns out to be one of the more telegenic...

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Macron, Act II

Share the post "Macron, Act II" After Gilets Jaunes Act XXIII, yesterday the curtain rose on Macron Act II. There were innovations in both form and substance. Let me begin with the form, where the change was more noticeable. This was the first press conference of this presidential term. The setting, the newly renovated Salle des Fêtes in the Elysée, was spectacular and made to seem so by the occasional cutaway shots showing the impressive gilt ceiling, the forest of...

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