Wednesday, February 8, 2017

French Twist

The French political world in chaos.  While conservative presidential candidate François Fillon is dealing with charges that he gave his wife a sham job to pay her a generous salary, France's former conservative president, Nicolas Sarkozy, is going to be tried for the charges of illegally financing his failed 2012 campaign for re-election and surpassing the legal campaign-spending limit in France (yes, the French have campaign-spending limits, unlike These States).  Sarkozy is alleged to have attempted to hide the excess spending - $20 million, according to one source - by having a public relations firm bill the party instead of the campaign. 
And to think . . . all that spending, and he didn't even win.
The Socialists in France, after five years of President François Hollande, have been discredited by mismanaging the economy.  François Fillon looked to be the next president for his impeccable credentials and his clean image, now sullied by his own scandal.  He vigorously defended himself earlier this week in an attempt to salvage his own campaign in advance of the spring presidential election, but if the French press is anything like the American press, he's not going to convince anyone of his innocence that easily.  
It seems to me that the conservative party in France - called the Republicans, by the way - is in danger of forfeiting its moral leadership in a country looking for a president with strong principles, which could add to the already unraveling political situation there . . . in favor of National Front presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.  A Le Pen victory in the presidential election would be an even bigger earthquake than Trump's election to the U.S. Presidency, because it would call France's reputation for equality and fraternity and for upholding the values of European republicanism completely into question.
Not that the center-right haven't done a good job in doing much of that already . . ..           

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