Sarkozy: Mr. Lisée is disappointed

Thanks to Norman Spector for sending me a note pointing out this op-ed in Le Monde, in which Jean-François Lisée explains to the folks in France how disappointing Nicolas Sarkozy’s recent comments on Quebec separatism were.

I wrote, long ago in a now-defunct but fondly-remembered magazine named Saturday Night (sigh), that Lisée’s former boss Jacques Parizeau was wildly overoptimistic in his belief that France’s support for a Quebec attempting a contested secession would be of any practical use. So if a French president’s support would have been little help, I don’t think a French president’s skepticism represents more than a symbolic letdown. But symbolism is important, I suppose, especially in the absence of progress toward the sovereignty movement’s actual goal.

I have written enough criticism of Sarko that I am not going to be pretend to be over the moon simply because he said what I would have wanted a less erratic French president to say about Quebec. Very little that Sarkozy says is interesting or will last, so agreeing with him is not much more pleasant than disagreeing with him, because there seems to be no real basis for either his silliness or his occasional approximations of wisdom.