The damage done to Norte Dame Cathedral was limited but nevertheless tragic. But due to the law of unintended consequences, one pol will inadvertently gain from this disaster. That man is French President and teacher molester Emmanuel Macron.
So we are clear, I am not saying he started the fire or anything close to it. However, he has so successfully wrapped himself in the tricolour on this that he might as well have telekinetically willed it. It plays right into the greatest soft power strength of the French, something they are still an acknowledged master of: high culture. No pesky Wehrmacht or lemony-vested ninnies to get in the way this time. In fact, I doubt we’ll be hearing from the protestors for a bit. Street mayhem would be rather gauche now, eh?
How does the President de la Republique plan to fight the scourge of the fire? Well, pretty much, a government-sponsored virtual telethon. Like a very chic Jerry Lewis thing, but without the French-beloved cretin impersonator. At this already steaming-right-ahead shindig, a billionaire casually pitched in $100 million then went back home to his outrageously attractive starlet wife to rake in the accolades. Could the French do it any other way?
By starting the reconstruction campaign off with a moon mission-like, but shorter, five-year goal he gives the project instant momentum and a perfect constant talking point until the triumphant rededication. Macron’s 2022 probable reelection campaign also conveniently happens to fall smack dab in the middle of the effort. Gee, what a coincidence. Things get hot on the campaign trail? He says, “The cathedral.” Scandal erupts? “The cathedral.” Clumsy green-inspired tax rollout? This time with feeling, “The cathedral!”
Full-throated national pride at the fraction of the price of a splendid little war. It’s almost as if…nahhhh….no way…I mean, Wag the Chien?
Excepting that the rebuild could produce a post-modern monstrosity like the I.M. Pei carbuncle outside the Louvre, this has been politically delivered to Macron on a silver platter. There are no downsides, ignoring the partial burning of one of the greatest wonders of Western culture. Oh, details, details…
On his response, Macron seems to have taken the advice of another Emanuel. And that guy, while lacking a certain flair for municipal administration, knew what he was talking about.
So burn baby burn becomes reelect the president. Thank Gawd the Trickster never thought of this. Or the Lincoln Memorial would now be a parking lot. Granted, a very nice parking lot.