The NYT says Macron is all hat and no cattle.
Not nice. Not nice at all.
But most probably true.
Emmanuel Macron Will Be Yet Another Failed French President
President Emmanuel Macron of France is liberalism’s new poster boy. Hailed as the answer to Europe’s populist tide, he has brought a buzz back into French diplomacy by facing down President Trump and President Vladimir Putin of Russia. “The Macron method,” a leading European think tank gushed recently, is the new Third Way, threading the needle between technocracy and populism.
At home in France, it’s a very different story. A recent poll found that Mr. Macron’s popularity fell by 14 points in August, after a fall of 10 points in July. Only 40 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the president’s performance. (..)
Since taking office, Mr. Macron has put off many people by trying to recapture the grandeur of the presidency. In a phrase that may stick to him for the rest of his time in office, he said he wanted to make the presidency more “Jupiterian,” (..)
This arrogant attitude about power has destroyed the anti-establishment, upstart image that Mr. Macron cultivated during the campaign. The post-ideological platform on which he ran is starting to reveal itself for what it really is: an emptiness at the heart of his political project.
Mr. Macron’s two big policy goals are fixing the economy and fixing Europe. He has gone so far as to describe his economic policies as a “Copernican revolution,” but he is merely pushing France a little farther down the road of labor market deregulation and fiscal austerity, a path well trodden by other countries.
The new president says he is determined to make France a “start-up nation,” borrowing the vapid parlance of Silicon Valley. (..)
His main goal is to reduce France’s unemployment rate, which at around 10 percent remains stubbornly high. He hopes to do this by reforming the labor code. (..) But fearful of giving his program any actual political content, the president wraps up his reforms in the European flag. He tells French voters that only if they make these sacrifices at home, the rest of the European Union — especially Germany — will take them seriously and give France a better deal.
Mr. Macron’s European plans include a common budget and finance minister for the eurozone. His ideas have received warm words from Berlin, and there are signs that such a deal could be possible after Germany has its federal elections on Sept. 24. But if Chancellor Angela Merkel wins, her mandate will not be for a European fiscal union where German tax revenues are placed in a common European pot. She has given her support to only a very modest version of what Mr. Macron is proposing. The payoff for all of France’s sacrifice at home will be small — and the president will surely be no more popular than he is now.
Mr. Macron’s success in June’s presidential election has shaken up the moribund political landscape in a deep and lasting way. For that, he deserves thanks. But as a political project, Macronism is little more than rhetoric and hubris, backed up with conventional neoliberal policies. For now, Mr. Macron is still the darling of the global liberal elite, but his growing unpopularity gives us a better picture of what he has to offer.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/07/opin ... arity.html