The French Left’s Lost Balloon
From the desk of The Brussels Journal on Wed, 2007-05-09 09:24
On the eve of the final round, Miss Royal declared on RTL television that Nicolas Sarkozy was a liar, a brutal man and a danger to the nation, and that his election would provoke a massive domestic uprising. If, as alleged in Le Monde on Monday, the Socialist candidate knew by then that she had no hope of winning, the implicit call for rebellion is all the more reprehensible. […]
After [UDF centrist Francois] Bayrou was eliminated, Miss Royal tried frantically to win back the misguided votes by courting Mr. Bayrou. The sluggish centrist took advantage of her ingenuity to keep himself on the front pages for one whole week of the two-week second-round campaign. Meanwhile, all but one of the 29 UDF deputies threw their support to Mr. Sarkozy. The final tally showed that 40 percent of Mr. Bayrou’s vote went to Miss Royal, 40 percent to Mr. Sarkozy, and 20 percent down the drain in abstention. Mr. Bayrou’s vainglorious promise to make a big showing in the mid-June legislative elections with his new Mouvement Democrate is floating high in the sky like a lost balloon.
Still playing the “tous sauf Sarkozy” tune, the Socialists are trying to grab the legislature under the pretext that their majority will temper President Sarkozy’s “absolute power.” Again, they are pandering to undemocratic forces determined to overthrow the newly elected government by street warfare.
Shortly after Mr. Sarkozy’s victory was announced, clashes began at the Bastille in Paris and in countless French cities. […] There is no guarantee that the banlieue will not explode in turn, but the current center-city uprising is led by extreme leftists, revolutionary Communists, anarchists, nihilists and misguided Segolene groupies. One rioter justified the violence as a protest against the police brutality that Mr. Sarkozy “plans to impose.” […] France is aflutter with hope. […] Accountability just might enter the French vocabulary.