Today's Blogs

Victory for Sarko

Bloggers are dissecting Sarkozy’s victory in France and agog over the news that 3-D printers are on the horizon for consumers.

Victory for Sarko: Conservative Nicolas Sarkozy will take over France’s presidency on May 17, after taking nearly 53 percent of the vote to defeat Socialist Ségolène Royal In his acceptance speech, Sarkozy extended an olive branch to America. “I want to call out to our American friends to tell them that they can count on our friendship,” he said.

At Pajamas Media, Paris-based Nidra Poller captures the mixed mood in the French capital. “As I am reporting on the glorious celebration, something else is going on practically under my nose. Sounds of ugly anger. Police cars. Gendarmes on foot. Troublemakers running into quiet side streets. Guttural shouts. A loud thud as a disappointed ‘citizen’ kicks a garbage can nearly to death. Sirens.”

In a photo-packed post at democracy-focused Publius Pundit, A.M. Mora y Leon is gleeful at the victory and surprised pundits had France pegged wrong. “Whodathunk? … Wasn’t France solidly socialist to the bone? Weren’t there a lot of analyses out saying that the French abhorred change, couldn’t lift itself from its cafes, hated globalization and definitely didn’t want a wild man like Sarkozy as president out wrecking the country? It’s just amazing how mistaken so many observers were. There’s a whole different country out there that none of them, neither enemy nor familiar, really seemed to know.”

At Captain’s Quarters, conservative Ed Morrissey asserts that French fatigue with rioting in the banlieus contributed to Sarkozy’s success: “Of course, part of the reason Sarkozy won … is because of the continuous violence occurring in the Muslim ghettoes. Cars burn on most nights, and it no longer makes headlines unless the count gets above 200 or so. The obvious cultural disconnect, along with the moribund French economy under Socialist policies, has created a shift in mood for the French.”

Bring back French fries! Like many bloggers, Republican Mike at Mike’s America declares a victory for the United States here: “Sarkozy’s election is just the latest trend from the last few years which have seen increasingly pro-American conservatives elected to governments in Australia, Germany, Canada and Japan. All of the above have stressed the importance of a strong relationship with the United States. And we’re constantly told how we’ve alienated our allies?”

Conservative Andrew Sullivan also strikes a triumphant note: “Sarko is not a visceral anti-American, unlike many of his peers. In that sense, we have gained a new and stronger ally in the war against Islamism. Now to make that war more effective and intelligent.” Liberal Matthew Yglesias sneers in response to Sullivan and others pumping up the president-elect’s pro-Americanism: “[W]hat, exactly, is supposed to be the significance of the man’s alleged ‘pro-American’ views? … Now my recollection of events is that the whole idea that Europe in general and France in particular was full of ‘visceral anti-Americans’ is that many European governments and the vast majority of European citizens took the view that an invasion and occupation of Iraq was unlikely to produce beneficial results. In that opinion they were, of course, vindicated.”

Dubbing Sarkozy “Thatcher with trousers,” British conservative Cranmer reflects on how Sarkozy’s background will shape his governing style: “He is the son of a Hungarian immigrant and a French mother of Greek Jewish origin, and was baptised a Roman Catholic. He will be the first son of an immigrant to rule modern France, and he intends to do it his way.”

At liberal group blog MyDD, Jerome Armstrong reminds everyone that Sarkozy is not a conservative of the American stripe: “The shift is really moving toward a market-based economy, something that would hardly be considered conservative in the US. Sarkozy is probably good for the EU. Likewise, Sarkozy… realizes that the conservative Republicans in the US are the ones holding back the world on environmental reform. The only real alliance that I see with Conservatives in the US and Sarkozy, is a hostility toward ethnic plurality and multiculturalism.”

At Juan Cole’s Informed Comment, the history prof sees shades of the Gipper in Sarkozy’s politics. “Sarkozy’s message, that he wants to restore pride in Frenchness, wants to promote free market reforms, and worries that France has lost control of its borders all sounds Reaganesque. Just as Reaganism was a form of American (’white’) nationalism, so Sarkozyism is a form of French nationalism. And just as Reagan’s nationalism had a class location in the upper middle classes and the rich, so too does Sarkozy’s ‘French’ nationalism. But the United States and France are both founded on civic nationalism (open to everyone of any race or culture), not on ethnic nationalism.”

Christopher de la Mare, a British lawyer living in Paris and blogging at France Decides 2007, has some advice for the incoming president (hint: avoid the second Bush administration’s “administrative incompentence”):.”The chief concerns when choosing the team, are political and administrative: not only does the President Elect need to choose people to satisfy his own camp, but also to demonstrate openness towards the centre, perhaps even the left, and above all choose people that will be able to hold things together …  Sarkozy, if he really is going to accomplish what he wants, needs to match the political savvy he clearly has, with an eye for administrative talent.”

Read more about Sarkozy’s victory.

Print this: Printers that produce 3-D plastic objects—ranging in usefulness from Gumby figurines to perfectly sized screws—may appear in homes across the country soon. Engineers and designers have had these printers for a decade (who knew?), but the prices are expected to drop tremendously.

At the Millennial Crier, Liz giggles at the pictures that ran with the Times article: “The 3D printer is going to revolutionize daily life and overhaul the relationship between private and commercial spheres. Or at least, provide 24/7 access to Barbie dolls, plastic Gumby figurines, and weird plastic seashells.”

While Mark Wallace does point out some potential problems with the printers at 3pointD, he is really giddy at the prospect of the printers gaining traction: “I really dig that vision of the future, in which I don’t have to go to the hardware store to buy some new jewel cases for the CDs I’m burning for friends, or a new part for the coffeemaker I broke last week. It isn’t quite here yet, but it’s probably coming.”

Read more about 3-D.