Thursday, June 02, 2005

Misdirected Glee

Why The French Vote Was Bad For America

There has been a fair amount of glee on the other side of the Atlantic over the political mess in France after the defeat of Chirac in the referendum on the Constitutional Treaty.

Some seem almost genetically inclined to believe that what goes wrong for the Elysee Palace and France has to be good for the White House and United States.

Well, there are also voices thinking several thoughts in row before they put pen on paper. Philip Gordon at Brookings is one of them. He's a leading expert on European affairs.

And he certainly fears that things could go from bad to worse from the US perspective.

Dominique de Villepin is now the Prime Minister of France. Few persons are more universally loathed inside the beltway than he is. He's seen as the incarnation of everything that's wrong with France from the US point of view.

He's even a poet...

And the Non forces are now calling for more protectionism, more state interventions, more regulation and a far firmer French front against the so called ultra-liberalism they see as threathening their sacred way of life.

Their European Union would in fact be a far more interventionist, protectionist, centralized and closed entity than is the case at the moment - or would have resulted from implementation of the Constitutional Treaty.

So it would be appropriate to hold the jubilation and glee over there within fairly strict limits.