Behind Enemy Lines


I just spent my annual month in the National Review's nightmare world, and I can exclusively confirm the following:

* The French really don't seem to like that George Bush fellow.
* As such, a really handy phrase that you can use for just about any occasion, and with whatever mixture of sincerity and mockery you prefer, is "c'est la faute de Bush."
* Despite this, several people from whom I've previously heard pretty virulent and/or conspiratorial anti-hyperpower stuff volunteered that their country is suffering from a "virus" of anti-Americanism.
* There is still no adequate retort to "Yeah, but what about that hack Chirac?"
* Those in the Parisian tourist industry say they've been hurt by the dropoff in American visitors; meanwhile several French people I talked to said they were nervous about visiting the U.S. because of anti-surrender-monkeyism.
* It is universally accepted that the charismatic rightist Nicolas Sarkozy will run the country sooner rather than later. When I ask lefty pals why they don't like him, the worst they can muster is "he supports wild capitalism." (That, and he's made it more difficult to drive drunk.) When I ask them to name a single Socialist politician worth a damn, they run out of candidates after the mayor of Paris, whose electoral ambitions may be blunted by the fact he is openly gay.
* Lust for lefty dictators is still on display. Liberation ran a profile of a female former government member who was Castro's lover for a good swath of the '60s, and she described his caresses as "like being touched by the hand of God." This was presented matter-of-factly.
* They still have a different word for everything.