Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Well, Krugman's finally written a column that pisses even me off. While there's a great deal to dislike about Tom "delay, delay" DeLay and John Ashcroft, there's a difference between those two, and, say, David Duke --- or Jean-Marie Le Pen. For Krugman to fudge that difference is an insult to the intelligence of his readers.

As long as I'm talking about the French election, here's a quick razz to the comment in the blogsphere and elsewhere that this election signals a massive French cultural shift towards the right. Jospin didn't make the runoff election because he couldn't convince his own Socialist base not to vote for the Trotskyists, who got eleven percent of the vote between them, well more than enough to make up the roughly one percent gap between Jospin and Le Pen. Tending rightwards, towards "law-and-order" type issues in particular, actually was Jospin's political strategy, and it was a dismal failure, driving his base toward the Greens and Trotskyists. It's true that Le Pen polled better than he had in the past, but only by a few percentage points. The real story here is not a shift to the right, but fragmentation on the French left.

(Well, that and karmic retribution for all those snide remarks about our screwed-up American presidential election...).


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