The National Front, the UMP, and the Socialists

(Update, May 19: When I wrote to Tiberge, I had forgotten that she and I have discussed at length in the past the silly delusion that Sarkozy is a conservative. See our November 2007 exchange on why American conservatives love Sarkozy.)

LA to Tiberge of Galliawatch:

Have you ever addressed the media’s constant description of Sarkozy as “conservative”?

Also, how do you think he’s taking his defeat? He’s such a ruthless political animal, for him to be turned out as president of France after one term must be terribly traumatic for him.

Tiberge replies:

I have almost never spoken of Sarkozy as a conservative. I have called him a “false-conservative” a “faux-conservative,” a Socialist disguised as a conservative, a “so-called conservative,” and many other terms. I had trouble five years ago convincing some readers that he was no better than Ségolène Royal, but then as now, they were so terrified of the left they preferred to take a chance on Sarkozy.

Marine Le Pen’s entire campaign was based on exposing the similar goals of the PS (Socialist Party) and the UMP. Bloggers long ago began using the acronym “UMPS” to refer to the one party system. Nicolas Sarkozy did not keep one campaign promise, and yet in the days preceding the May 6 run-off writers, bloggers, analysts, politicians, Catholics and atheists alike, were literally begging the French who had voted for Marine Le Pen to vote for Sarkozy because a Hollande victory would be catastrophic. [LA replies: So Sarkozy’s party was hoping that the National Front voters would now believe the anti-immigration positions adopted out of sheer naked desperation by a man who previously had never kept any campaign promises.]

When Hollande won, the fight shifted to finding someone to blame. Marine Le Pen was the obvious target, and she is now locked in a bitter and fierce struggle with Sarkozy’s party leaders who have consistently urged their members to vote Socialist in any race between a Socialist and the National Front. [LA replies: So Sarkozy’s party was expecting the National Front leader, out of fear of the Socialists, to endorse Sarkozy notwithstanding the fact that Sarkozy’s party had always favored the Socialists over the NF.] This is where we are heading now—the legislative elections on June 10 and 17. Over five hundred seats in the National Assembly are at stake. If the combined forces of the left gain a majority the next five years will indeed be catastrophic. But Sarkozy’s UMP party could help by urging its members to vote for the NF instead of the left in the run-off elections. So far, they have not done that. They have blamed Marine Le Pen for Sarkozy’s loss. [LA replies: So Sarkozy’s party, though it continues supporting the Socialists over the National Front, is blaming the National Front for the Socialists’ victory over Sarkozy and will also blame the National Front if the Socialists win the majority in the National Assembly.]

Marine Le Pen’s stated goal is to undo the UMP. [LA replies: But wouldn’t that mean that she wants the UMP to lose its hold on the National Assembly, meaning that she wants the left to gain the majority in the Assembly and thus, by your reasoning, that she in effect wants the next five years to be catastrophic?] She holds the “false conservatives” responsible for immigration, Islamization, and financial quagmires. She is certainly aware of how bad Hollande is, but her primary goal is to woo away from the UMP those voters who are sincerely conservative, and leave the others to the left. It’s a very big gamble. I have no idea what will happen. She herself will be running for deputy in the National Assembly against a rabble-rousing insulting pro-Communist named Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who claims he will impose a 100 percent income tax on revenues above 360,000 euros!

As for Sarkozy personally, I don’t know what will become of him. He has said he will retire from politics, and never again address the French people. He also said that everyone sooner or later has to be replaced. Most French politicians say that. Time passes and then they return, all is forgiven, and they get back into politics.

Here are three recent links:

On the celebrations May 6.

A reminder of the importance of the Muslim vote in the election, and the need to block the left on June 10 and 17.

A statement by Marine Le Pen just after Hollande’s victory.

May 15

Tiberge replies to LA:

You wrote:

But wouldn’t that mean that she wants the UMP to lose its hold on the National Assembly, meaning that she wants the left to gain the majority in the Assembly and thus, by your reasoning, that she in effect wants the next five years to be catastrophic?

She has said, and others have said it too, that the UMP will come undone now that they no longer have Sarkozy as a focal point. But this may not be true. Marine may have misjudged the party. It is possible that, instead of falling apart, the UMP coalesces around an anti-National Front policy. That is what is happening. The UMP leadership insists its policies are profoundly different from those of the National Front. Of course, that’s true, but the UMP will never admit that they are just a bunch of Socialists in disguise. They insist they are the “right” and the National Front is “extremist.”

That said, there are still many (I don’t know how many) UMP voters who will move to Marine’s side in the legislative elections. All Marine can hope for is that enough of them vote for the FN candidate when the opposition is a Socialist/Communist. All she can hope for is that the combined deputies of the FN and the UMP form a bloc large enough to thwart Socialist legislation on euthanasia, gay marriage, and other critical ethical issues.

If she loses her gamble, then the next five years will be catastrophic, but she has to do something. She is at war with the UMP and the PS, but especially with the UMP.

The UMP started this. Before the first round on April 22, Nicolas Sarkozy’s spokeswoman Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (called NKM) made a public statement saying that if Marine Le Pen moved into the second round against Hollande, she would order the UMP voters to vote Socialist. So, well before April 22, we knew the lay of the land. NKM’s statement probably cost Marine some votes in the first round, since some weak-minded voters could have decided to go with Sarko.

The minute Hollande won, NKM issued another statement blaming Marine Le Pen for Sarkozy’s loss.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 14, 2012 08:35 AM | Send

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