President Bling

Another thing that is kind of amusing about our domestic wingnuts is how they always try to identify the current teahdist run GOP with overseas conservatives. To folks like the Red Stater whose tweet Freddie highlighted, Sarkozy was “the adult” (remember the “Thank goodness the adults are in charge” nonsense after Bush was elected) simply because he was “right wing,” so therefor our intrepid analyst thinks that means he’s just like his GOP right wingers. It’s absurd. No one in Sarkozy’s entire party would win a GOP primary election in any district in America- there is simply no comparison. It was the same way when Cameron won in England, or when the Conservative party in Canada won in 2011- you had morans bleating about conservatism on the rise all over the place. It’s pathetic, really- the need to at every opportunity validate your own beliefs this way, altough one reason that the current wingnuts have a soft spot for Sarkozy is that he promised to fluff Bush at every opportunity.

At any rate, I heard a fascinating piece on PRI the other day that suggested that not only has Sarkozy’s Presidency been a sheer disaster, and not only has he presided over years of economic turmoil with no sign of things getting better, and not only did he come in to power suggesting a new look at the relationship between government benefits and the people and then the crisis proved to people they need the government help more than ever, not only all of that and basically have his policies be empirically tested and fail, but it appears Sarkozy is a bit of a classless jerk. The French refer to him as President Bling Bling, and basically, since day one as President, he’s acted like an unrefined and vulgar nouveau riche jerk. Basically, he’s acted like the people who strike it rich, hit the lottery, or somehow becomes instantly wealthy and then build an obscene eyesore of a mansion in the middle of a historic neighborhood.

You really have to listen to the piece to understand how deeply they feel this way about Sarkozy:

77 replies
  1. 1
    4tehlulz says:

    So basically, he’s acted like Berlusconi, except for the hookers.

  2. 2
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I wonder what Carla Bruni saw in him, she seems to have impeccable taste in clothes, though not in men.

  3. 3
    Ben Franklin says:

    Sarkozy is a bit of a classless jerk

    You mean he’s de rigueur like DeGaulle?

  4. 4
    MikeJ says:

    He’s also famous for doing a pr visit to a lab or a uni and having advance people hand pick short people to surround him while he plays with the blinkenlights.

  5. 5
    gogol's wife says:

    OT I don’t like to complain about the advertisements, but whenever I come here I have to look at a picture of a pig being tortured in a pen. I don’t eat pigs. Why do I have to look at this?

  6. 6
    smintheus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: She saw a guy who was president of a nuclear power.

  7. 7
    PeakVT says:

    …to shake up its cozy, if wayward, welfare state.

    I heard that report on Friday and overall it was decent, but the bit of lazy MSM narrative above really grated. Cozy if wayward?

  8. 8
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @smintheus: Maybe that’s why Kim Jong Un is trying so hard to get those missiles launched.

  9. 9
    Violet says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Wondered the same thing. What does she need him for? Access to power?

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Egg Berry says:

    From that WaPo story:

    Some residents deliver their own trash to dumpsters at a local school, rather than have a noisy trash truck rumble down the main road.

    I wonder if that’s legal.

  12. 12
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    The French refer to him as President Bling Bling

    The #RadioLondres tweets (publishing the exit poll results in lightly obfuscated fashion to skirt around the law) were using “Rolex” as shorthand.

  13. 13

    CNN is on the job
    Blogwhoring for the hell of it…

  14. 14
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Don’t they understand how unpopular austerity is?

    The Republicans really can’t comprehend the 99%

  15. 15
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @PeakVT:

    the bit of lazy MSM narrative above really grated. Cozy if wayward?

    Because the Anglo-American economic model is presumed superior by default, and the idea that a) the state has responsibility to look after those in need; b) the people can face down the government through protest and win, are considered risible.

  16. 16
    Brachiator says:

    altough one reason that the current wingnuts have a soft spot for Sarkozy is that he promised to fluff Bush at every opportunity.

    More complicated than that. Wingnuts got upset that Sarkozy had good relations with Obama, because it interfered with their idiotic fantasy that all foreign leaders everywhere hate our president. You can also see this in the insane demands by the crazier wingnuts that UK prime minister somehow disavow Obama.

    And Bush is long gone. Wingnuts don’t think that Sarkozy did enough to fluff Angela Merkel, while French nationalist wingnuts think that he fluffed her too much.

  17. 17
    David Koch says:

    Another one bites the dust.
    Obama kills terrorist behind USS Cole bombing. (1)
    Obama is like Michael Corleone, settling family business, one by one. Can’t wait until he has Hyman Roth Rupert Murdoch “met at the airport”.

  18. 18
    gene108 says:

    so therefor our intrepid analyst thinks that means he’s just like his GOP right wingers.

    Yup. I do agree they just don’t understand how alone they are in their views, when compared to right-wingers from around the world.

    Even an American-right-wing icon like Margaret Thatcher was pro-baby-murder:

    Abortion, I said to Mrs Thatcher, was a subject of great concern to Catholics. What was her attitude to it in principle? “The abortion law is only related to the early months and I voted for abortion under controlled conditions. I’m perfectly prepared to have the Act amended along the lines of the Select Committee recommendations because I think that it’s operating in a slightly more lax way than was intended, but I’m not prepared to abolish it[fo 3] completely. Abortion only applies to the very, very early days, but the idea that it should be used as a method of birth control I find totally abhorrent.”

    I really do wonder, if the Republicans can grok the fact every other conservative Party in the industrialized world is pro-universal heatlhcare, for example. Sarkozy, Cameron, Thatcher, the guys up in Canada and the rest of the international right-wingers wouldn’t dare create a health-care system based on your ability to pay is the difference between being alive or dead.

    What a bunch of reactionary jerks.

  19. 19
    Egg Berry says:

    Even as unpopular as he was, Sarkozy apparently got 48 percent of the vote.

    Also, the fact that this mini-Versailles in the WaPo story upsets the delicate feelings of one Craig Dubow, who practiced Romneynomics on the Gannett Corporation, is delicious.

  20. 20
    Argive says:

    The French refer to him as President Bling Bling, and basically, since day one as President, he’s acted like an unrefined and vulgar nouveau riche jerk.

    Surely there must be some middle ground between acting like a gauche douchebag and acting like a pompous dick, a la Chirac or Mitterand.

    I’m extra interested to see this movie now that Sarko’s out on his ass. Vive la France!

  21. 21
    Violet says:

    @Ben Franklin:
    Heavens, no they don’t understand how unpopular austerity is. The people in charge of places like CNN won’t be affected at all by austerity, except maybe they’d pay less in taxes. What’s not to love? Plus, “tightening your belt when times are tough” is a sign of strong morals and ethics, so why shouldn’t countries and governments do the same thing?

    Simplistic thinking, “it won’t affect me” and “let them eat cake” attitudes pretty much sum up our media overlords.

  22. 22
    rikyrah says:

    Just finished watching POTUS in Ohio…

    he was ON FIRE…

    he truly is an absolutely fabulous candidate.

    he rocks….

    and Willard is so lacking….(yes, I’m being generous)

  23. 23
    Chris says:

    @Brachiator:

    More complicated than that. Wingnuts got upset that Sarkozy had good relations with Obama, because it interfered with their idiotic fantasy that all foreign leaders everywhere hate our president.

    Yeah, and worse than that – Sarkozy was trumpeted as the first pro-American president France had had since before De Gaulle (actually derided as “Sarkozy l’Americain” in the French press). The notion of people being pro-American and pro-Obama at the same time, accepting Obama as the legitimate voice of the American people, that drives them completely fucking bananas.

  24. 24
    Chris says:

    @Egg Berry:

    Even as unpopular as he was, Sarkozy apparently got 48 percent of the vote.

    The first thing that struck me when I saw the election results was that they were almost exactly the same as Obama vs McCain in 2008. Coincidence, I’m sure, but still…

  25. 25
    Rhoda says:

    @rikyrah: I wish I could find the attack web ad that the RNC put up from it, so sad. They have a problem, they’ve been calling POTUS a failure for three years. That’s not a new or compelling message.

  26. 26

    @4tehlulz:

    So basically, he’s acted like Berlusconi, except for the hookers.

    Or Bush II, with subject-verb agreement.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    WJS says:

    I think that there is an essential piece of his background that people are missing. Sarkozy was the mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine from ’83 to 2002 and has been around “money” and “people with money” for practically his entire political career. Neuilly-sur-Seine is fabulously wealthy and upscale. Perhaps his behavior suggests that he is finally “one of” the very people who lived in the town where he was mayor for all of those years. Or it means being a douchebag finally caught up to him.

    At any rate–he’s finished. He can go do whatever he wants to do, but today seems to be the nail in his coffin.

  29. 29
    Gex says:

    That’s exactly who the right wants in charge. Flashy machismo, in a nouveau rich CEO types to run things like they run a business. Which is to squeeze everyone at the bottom of the enterprise, provide a crappy product to your customers, and pocket the difference.

    ETA: Why do people complain about the ads to the blog host when they are more closely related to what Google and your browser know about you than the site the ads are on?

  30. 30
    rikyrah says:

    @Rhoda:

    Rhoda,

    though it has upset folks like you and me, in a way, the relentless and crazy attacks on the President are serving, IMO, as somewhat of an innoculation against the SuperPacs.

    No, I’m not happy about it, but I’ve said it before, and will say it again:

    outside of calling the President a NI-CLANG outright..

    what else can they say?

    I mean, truly, what can they say that hasn’t already been said over the past 3 years.

    what can they put out in video that could be worse than the steady stream of insanity that they’ve done over the past 3 years.

    I think it was TPV, who said that , unlike the GOP Clown Car, the President already knows how to deal with the crazy, because he’s been dealing with it for the past 3 years FROM DAY ONE.

    so, they’ll have to come up with something different to actually think that they’ll push this President off his game.

  31. 31
    gbear says:

    Not surprising to me that the mega-mansion owner in the WaPo article made her money in health care. I’ve worked as a drafter for a couple of architectural firms that did high-end housing, and so many of the clients were administrators for health care companies. They were also the biggest dinks as clients. Always demanding something for nothing.

  32. 32
    gogol's wife says:

    @Gex:

    So whom do I complain to? It makes it impossible to read this blog. (in addition to the rebuild, which also does the same thing) I have not done any google searches for torturing pigs.

  33. 33
    PeakVT says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Yeah, I get that. “cozy if wayward” is a weird way to phrase it, though.

  34. 34
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Violet:

    S’ok. They see Sark as a neocon who was never given a chance to implement his policies.

  35. 35
    Argive says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Have you done any searches related to animal rights? That could do it.

  36. 36
    eemom says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I’m with you. I give money regularly to organizations that fight animal abuse and I really resent having pictures like that shoved in my face.

  37. 37
    Egg Berry says:

    @gbear: From the comments on the article, the actual source of Yi’s money is shrouded in substantial mystery. Some claim she may be a Chinese “princess” (I have no idea what that is), in order to be able to come up with that kind of money. The reporter actually interjects comments occasionally.

    Also, my question about the legality of taking the trash to the elementary school was apparently answered. It’s some kind of neighborhood co-op, and not the way the poors might do it. (that last bit was sarcasm)

  38. 38
    jcgrim says:

    The French refer to him as President Bling Bling, and basically, since day one as President, he’s acted like an unrefined and vulgar nouveau riche jerk.

    Ah, so he acted like Chris Christie.

  39. 39
    Egg Berry says:

    @gogol’s wife: You might use AdBlock if it offends. I think there’s a way you can block only certain ads.

  40. 40
    Violet says:

    @gogol’s wife:
    I think some of the ads are the same for everyone and have nothing to do with an individual’s browser or search history. I’ve got the pig ad too and have done no searches relating to animals or pigs or animal rights or anything like that for a very long time. Perhaps never on this computer, as it’s relatively new.

    There was one awhile back featuring some woman and a cucumber that people were talking about. I had an ad blocker on my computer and didn’t see it, but a whole bunch of people did. I think this one is similar in that it’s seen by everyone.

    Suggestion: get an ad blocker of some sort.

  41. 41
    JCT says:

    @MikeJ: Hah! Yes — my colleagues at one of the French medial research hospitals in Paris used to say the *exact* same thing. This was usually followed by some comment that now they had their “very own” George Bush.

  42. 42
    Commenting at Ballon Juice since 1937 says:

    You know what else happened when conservatives were in ascendancy all over the world? At least Mossolini made the trains run on time. That was the last time gov’t worked efficiently, libtards.

  43. 43
    Argive says:

    @eemom:

    That ad probably pops up because you give money to animal rights groups. I see it too, and it’s a Humane Society ad; why not let them know it offends you? If you’ve donated before, they’ll most likely listen. They’re almost certainly looking to capitalize on outrage rather than convert pork-eaters.

  44. 44
    JWL says:

    “..remember the “Thank goodness the adults are in charge” nonsense after Bush was elected?..”.

    I do. I also remember that Obama was criticized by the same people for not wearing a tie in the Oval Office.

  45. 45
    bemused says:

    @Gex:

    If Romney could have authentically pulled off flashy machismo, the rightwingers would fallen in love with him in no time.

  46. 46
    Ben Cisco says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    The Republicans really can’t comprehend the 99%

    That’s not in their marching orders, therefore it doesn’t happen.

  47. 47
    Brachiator says:

    @WJS:

    I think that there is an essential piece of his background that people are missing. Sarkozy was the mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine from ‘83 to 2002 and has been around “money” and “people with money” for practically his entire political career. Neuilly-sur-Seine is fabulously wealthy and upscale.

    Does anyone get anywhere in French political or economic life without going to the right schools, courting the Establishment, etc?

    I am just beginning to read material on Hollande, but I don’t get any sense that he is an outsider.

  48. 48
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Ben Cisco:

    That’s not in their marching orders

    You would think they would cover that in the Beer Putsch Weekly..

  49. 49
    Jay C says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    Not to mention the fact that the “French model” of national economics has always been derided by the right-wing as a bad example of what-not-do: high taxes, generous social programs, lots of regulations, low-hours-for-high-wages, etc.: plus the real killer for American righties, the supposed impossibility of starting up small businesses.

    Of course, like with most conservative stereotypes, reality is somewhat different: France, despite its presumed “stagnation” via “suffocating soshalism” seems to be surviving fairly well, and hasn’t degenerated into a Gallic Soviet Union, as their pet “austerian” theories would predict. But then, like most ultranationalists, American wingers have a lot of difficulty seeing, or analyzing, much beyond their noses… borders

  50. 50

    @Brachiator:

    Does anyone get anywhere in French political or economic life without going to the right schools, courting the Establishment, etc?

    Je pense qu’on dit “Sciences Po” pour “Yale Law School” en anglais. Hollande is an ÉNArque.

  51. 51
    Egg Berry says:

    @Brachiator:

    Does anyone get anywhere in French political or economic life without going to the right schools, courting the Establishment, etc?

    Oxbridge in England, the Ivy Leagues in the US? Methinks this is not just a French thing.

  52. 52
    Ben Cisco says:

    @Ben Franklin: Well, they plan just like they do everything else – half-assed.

  53. 53
    Holden Pattern says:

    Another thing that is kind of amusing about our domestic wingnuts is how they always try to identify the current teahdist run GOP with overseas conservatives.

    I think that our wingtards don’t even understand that the nativist parties in the EU aren’t anti-state, they’re just anti “those people” getting benefits from the state. By contrast most of our home-grown bigots would happily vote for someone who promised to let them starve if the money that would have bought food went instead to line the Koch brothers’ swimming pools with diamonds, so long as a few pennies of it go to deporting and imprisoning brown people and oppressing teh gayz.

  54. 54
    MonkeyBoy says:

    France as a country still seems to have a sense of “taste”.

    The US seems to have lost much of its taste and the markets and media seem to celebrate conspicuous displays of wealth and power and somehow convince many that McDonalds is “good taste”.

    The wealthy in the US used to control taste and used the “vulgarity” of the nouveau rich to keep them from full membership in polite society (the ruling class). The Bushes were long standing members of this class but didn’t fully keep their boy George under control – witness his delight in playing dress up while president. One of his most vulgar displays I saw was a pic of him in a t-shirt, shorts, and sandals with black socks – socks that displayed the Seal of the President of the US.

    However a lot of the US enjoys fast food and food marked by large portion size so I really can’t expect the US to reject vulgar politicians the way France finally did.

  55. 55
    Josie says:

    @rikyrah: You know, I’m trying to think, but I don’t remember ever seeing President Obama thrown off his game, and I’ve watched him ever since he gave his first speech at the Democratic convention. It is one of the things I love most about him. He is absolutely unflappable.

  56. 56
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Install Ad Blocker.

  57. 57
    Chris says:

    @Jay C:

    Of course, like with most conservative stereotypes, reality is somewhat different: France, despite its presumed “stagnation” via “suffocating soshalism” seems to be surviving fairly well, and hasn’t degenerated into a Gallic Soviet Union, as their pet “austerian” theories would predict.

    Heh. Forget France: if their economic models were anything close to being right, the United States would have degenerated into a starving wasteland decades ago. (Doesn’t matter if you attribute the post-WW2 prosperity to something other than the Keynesian/liberal consensus – if they were right about Keynesianism and liberalism, that kind of wealth would have been utterly impossible to achieve even in the best of circumstances).

    Not that I expect them to notice anytime soon, of course.

  58. 58
    WJS says:

    @Brachiator: No, and you don’t get very damned far in this country without doing exactly that, either. Did you go to Harvard or Yale? Your chances of being President just shot up.

    The only one who comes to mind right now is Putin. Instead of kissing up to wealth, power, and influence, he merely jails the ones who appear to threaten him.

  59. 59

    @Chris:

    …if their economic models were anything close to being right, the United States would have degenerated into a starving wasteland decades ago.

    Oh, those economics may have failed in practice — but did they fail in theory?

  60. 60
    Chris says:

    @Holden Pattern:

    I think that our wingtards don’t even understand that the nativist parties in the EU aren’t anti-state, they’re just anti “those people” getting benefits from the state.

    I don’t think they understand just how many of their own supporters right here at home that’s true of, either. If they did, they might not act so confused every time they propose some harebrained scheme like the Ryan Plan and the entire country (including a fuckton of their base) turns out not to want it.

  61. 61
    Brachiator says:

    By the way, l look forward to Romney announcing that he called to congratulate Hollande, and that he spoke with him directly, in French. Ya know, just like the average American might do.

  62. 62
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Egg Berry:

    Some claim she may be a Chinese “princess” (I have no idea what that is), in order to be able to come up with that kind of money.

    The “Princelings” are the offspring of upper-level Chinese officials who’ve made their fortunes exploiting “capitalism with Chinese characteristics” over the last 25 years or so, via quasi-legal theft of public resources for their private benefit. Now that the 99.9999% of the Chinese population that did not get to loot the state are becoming a political force, the OG thieves robber-barons capitalist entrepreneurs are hastening to move their kinfolk & their assets beyond the reach of the Peoples’ Populists, and our own American MBA MotUs are only too glad to welcome fellow opportunists to this land of opportunity. Health-care conglomerates, with their proud tradition of robbing public funds to enrich a small cadre of private go-getters, are a natural fit for such immigrant entrepreneurs.

  63. 63
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Brachiator:

    Does anyone get anywhere in French political or economic life without going to the right schools, courting the Establishment, etc?

    Well, Sarko was notable for not coming from the Grandes Écoles — Hollande went to Sciences Po and ENA. But he was very good at making rich friends — Liliane Bettencourt, Martin Bouygues, etc.

  64. 64
    Jay C says:

    @Chris:

    Heh. Forget France: if their economic models were anything close to being right, the United States would have degenerated into a starving wasteland decades ago.

    Not sure what your point is: French economic models have proven “close to being right” – for France – for quite a while. No, I don’t think their dirigiste model would work here; but France is far from being either a “starving wasteland” or 1955 Albania. Not Utopia, either, but then, what is?

  65. 65
    Chris says:

    @Jay C:

    No, when I said “they” I meant the conservatives whose fantasies you were denigrating. They’re all wrong about how economics work in France, but they’re all wrong about how it works right here in their own backyard, too. Least they’re consistent, I suppose.

  66. 66
    Walker says:

    @Egg Berry:

    If they pay for it, then probably yes. If not, then it is way illegal.

  67. 67
    Calouste says:

    @Egg Berry:

    Gordon Brown was the fourth Prime Minister not to have been to Oxbridge. Winston Churchill was one of the others, but considering his uncle was a Duke, it wasn’t like he came from a background lacking connections.

    I doubt Oxbridge graduates have made up less than half of the cabinet except on small number of occasions.

  68. 68
    Suffern ACE says:

    @WJS: If he was surrounded by so much money, why did Qadaffi need to bankroll his campaign last time?

  69. 69
    nepat says:

    So does the French right wing want its country back yet?

  70. 70
    Comrade Mary says:

    So, umm, that picture of the guy with the coat and the jacket and the dumb gloves: who the hell is that?

  71. 71
    Argive says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    That’s Jim Carrey from 1994’s Dumb and Dumber, which is pretty much the greatest movie ever.

  72. 72
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Argive: Ah. Thanks. May the Queen let me keep my Canadian passport after missing that one.

  73. 73
    stannate says:

    @Calouste: To bolster your comment, here’s Alexei Sayle discussing what’s wrong with British upper management.

  74. 74
    WJS says:

    @Suffern ACE: You go with the dictators you have, not the ones you wish you had.

  75. 75
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Calouste: Churchill went to Harrow and Sandhurst. Brown went to Edinburgh, which isn’t exactly a community college.

  76. 76
    Caravelle says:

    Dunno about that. You know what “Nouveau Riche” means ? Somebody who has the fatal character flaw of having wealth but not having grown up with it. You know who’d create that kind of term ? Somebody who thinks upward mobility is a plague on civilization.

    And I think there’s some of that going on with Sarkozy. I could very well be wrong, I haven’t been following politics much since he won, and I can certainly see the problem with going on a cruise in the Mediterranean on a yacht lent to you by a CEO friend – but the problem with that isn’t that it’s vulgar, it’s that it’s a conflict of interest.

    Sarkozy is the grandson of an immigrant with the name to prove it. He’s one of the rare, if not the first, president of France who didn’t go to ENA, the National School of Administration, the school that all French politicians and higher-ups went to.

    I don’t like Sarkozy’s policies, I was upset when he got elected, I’m even willing to bet he has numerous character flaws that justify the hatred of him, but I think that someone with the above characteristics got elected president is a GOOD thing. And objections to him that invoke classist tropes like “nouveau riche” and being vulgar and “not part of the club” really rub me the wrong way.

    Insofar as his attitude towards wealth was a problem (and from what I recall of the beginning of his term I think it probably was) I’d prefer to hear phrases like “corrupt” or “biased towards the rich” describing it.

    (Heck, did anyone call Chirac a “nouveau riche” ? There’s someone who was corrupt, but I’m sure he was all genteel about it. Maybe that’s why he isn’t in jail)

  77. 77
    Caravelle says:

    @Chris: Sarkozy was trumpeted as the first pro-American president France had had since before De Gaulle (actually derided as “Sarkozy l’Americain” in the French press).

    Wasn’t he the one who called himself that ? I remember when he started to be on the scene that the media would quote him as saying that’s was what his colleagues called him. He took it as a point of pride and I don’t remember him being particularly derided over it.

    Did things change some time into his presidency or am I just remembering wrong ?

    @Brachiator: Does anyone get anywhere in French political or economic life without going to the right schools, courting the Establishment, etc?

    I am just beginning to read material on Hollande, but I don’t get any sense that he is an outsider.
    Well, Sarkozy wasn’t from the “right school” but he probably was from A good school all the same. And he’s the 5th Republic’s first one-term president, so make of that what you will.

    Hollande absolutely isn’t an outsider, unless you count anybody outside the government as an “outsider”.

    That said I have seen people make the point that the mayor of Tulle had replaced the mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine. So that’s some outsider/insider, Province/Paris, Common-folk/Rich-1% spin for you.

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