"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

How The Cookie Crumbles

(I'm being told it's not THAT macaron.)

I'll look for a transcript of this speech later; but this is what French President Emmanuel Macron said to Congress, after his "bromance" (or was it a power struggle?) photo-ops with Trump yesterday:

"The 21st century has brought a series of new threats and new challenges that our ancestors might have never imagined," Macron said. "We can build the 21st century world order based on a new breed multilateralism, based on a more effective, accountable, and results-oriented multilateralism."

He continued: "This requires more than ever the United States involvement as your role was decisive for creating and safeguarding this free world. The United States is the one who invented this multilateralism. You are the one who has to help now to preserve and reinvent it."

Macron specifically mentioned the Iran nuclear deal, which he's been trying to convince Trump to change his mind about, but has been facing an uphill struggle. Trump railed against the deal Tuesday, calling the agreement negotiated by the Obama administration "insane" and "ridiculous" for failing to contain Tehran.

The French President said his country is staying in the deal -- "because we signed it," Macron said.

"Our objective is clear. Iran shall never possess any nuclear weapons. Not now, not in five years, not in 10 years, never."

"We should not abandon it if we don't have something more substantial instead. That is my position," Macron added. "Your President and your country ... will have to take its own responsibilities regarding this issue."

He also stressed the importance of taking care of the environment, a pointed remark given Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord and his appointments of officials prioritizing deregulation over environmental concerns.

"I am sure one day, the US will come back and join the Paris agreement." Macron said, adding simply, "Let us face it: There is no planet B."

"We must find a smoother transition to a lower carbon economy," he said. "Because what is the meaning of our life, really, if we work and live destroying the planet while sacrificing the future of our children?"

Macron's address coincided with the 58th anniversary of then-French President Charles de Gaulle's address to a joint session of Congress.

Macron -- who has been dubbed by some observers as a "Trump whisperer" -- has been able to develop one of the closest relationships Trump maintains with a world leader. He started his speech thanking and praising his American counterpart. He stressed the importance of the relationship between the United States and France, a relationship forged since the start of the US.

"We have shared the history of civil rights," he said. "Thousands of examples come to mind. One would think of the exchanges between our cultures across the centuries."

Oh, and about those tariffs:

Macron directly disputed Trump’s argument that trade imbalances should be cause for withdrawing from multilateral agreements and imposing tariffs, arguing that the latter would ultimately decimate the middle class by destroying jobs and increasing prices, and was inconsistent with a commitment to global security. Trade imbalances are problematic, he said, but countries should address them through the World Trade Organization. “We wrote these rules. We should follow them,” he said.

And about "America First":

“We can choose isolationism, withdrawal or nationalism,” Macron said in his first address to Congress since his election last year. “But closing the door to the world will not stop the evolution of the world”

There was reportedly lots of cheering in the chamber throughout the speech, although one disgruntled GOP Representative tried to label Macron the future of the Democratic party, and he didn't mean it as a compliment:  

 “French President is a socialist militarist globalist science-alarmist… the dark future of the American Democratic Party.”(ellipsis in original)
Yeah, I think they've gotta do better than that.   "Socialist militarist globalist science-alarmist" is just so....fetch.

It's never gonna catch on.

Another doomed bromance?


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