France’s next threat and other commentary

Foreign desk: France’s Next Threat

“Bof! That useful French word — an older and slightly less irritating version of the American-English ‘meh’ — is how many people feel about the re-election of Emmanuel Macron,” reports The Spectator’s Freddy Gray. “He isn’t loved,” with a job-approval rating around 41%. But he “projects confidence and competence even as his leadership does the opposite,” ensuring an “inevitable” victory over right-wing firebrand Marine Le Pen. Yet “the real threat to France in 2027 could come from the radical left,” whose leader “Jean-Luc Mélenchon far outperformed expectations” in the election’s first round, pulling the most votes among 18- to 24-year-olds. “Macron likes to feel he can read the political climate. It would be typically canny of him, having pivoted right in the build-up to this election, to go left in its aftermath. He’s an empty vessel ideologically, underneath all that chest hair.”

Libertarian: DHS Is ‘Broken’ and ‘Dangerous’

“Throughout its brief existence,” thunders Reason’s JD Tuccille, the Department of Homeland Security “has demonstrated poor judgment” and “worse respect for individual liberties” — including its new fixation on “white supremacists,” part of an agency tradition of “respond[ing] to political pressures to shift its attention to the targets of the moment.” So “don’t harbor too much hope that DHS” on its own “will improve its respect for people’s rights.” “A federal agency whose official watchdog hides details of abusive conduct by its employees against their colleagues and family members when it’s not pilfering property can’t be trusted to be diligent about addressing civil liberties violations against the general public” — and “it’s not at all obvious how to fix what’s so profoundly broken.”

Cali beat: An Unhealthy Obsession with Race

“In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 209, which banned the use of race, sex or ethnicity in public employment, education and contracting. Things have changed drastically since then,” Anastasia Boden and Wen Fa argue at The Hill. “In 2018, the legislature passed a ‘woman quota’ for the boards of all publicly held corporations.” And this year it’s expanding the quota to include “underrepresented communities.” Now “California’s corporations must mechanically reserve board seats not just for women but also for other individuals simply because they” self-identify as black, Hispanic, gay, etc. A state court recently struck down that quota, but “this slow creep will continue as long as legislators focus on race-based balance rather than seeking to repeal unfair barriers that hold individuals back.”

Elex watch: Rising Crime Presages GOP Gov Gains

Last month, Gallup found concern about crime “at its highest level in nearly two decades,” and a Fox poll gave Republicans a 15-point edge on the issue, its biggest ever, notes National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar. This will play out most in governor races in states that have seen violent crime soaring. Illinois “Gov. J.B. Pritzker is already fending off relentless attacks,” while New York’s Gov. Hochul suffers poor approval ratings. “The fact that governor races in the bluest of states are shaping up to be competitive is a sign of the political potency of law-and-order rhetoric . . . Given how eagerly Democrats embraced criminal-justice reforms that turned unpopular,” Republicans “won’t have to do much work to press their advantage.”

Liberal: Democrats’ Devastated Brand

“The current Democratic brand suffers from multiple deficiencies that make it somewhere between uncompelling and toxic to wide swathes of American voters,” warns The Liberal Patriot’s Ruy Texiera. “The cultural left has” tied Dems to “a series of views on crime, immigration, policing, free speech and . . . race and gender” that leave the party “thoroughly out of touch with its working class roots.” And: “Voters are not sure Democrats can look beyond identity politics to ensure public safety, secure borders, high quality, non-ideological education, and economic progress for all Americans.” “Black, Hispanic and Asian Americans . . . are highly likely to be proud to be American,” while “progressive activists are loathed to express these sentiments.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board



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