You Won’t Believe What They Let the President Do in France

Time's Francois Hollande coverTime magazine has a long piece (2/17/14) about beleaguered French President Francois Hollande. The headline is “Meet Monsieur Reform,” and the piece, by is a lengthy, rather predictable argument that his turn to the right is a good idea; or, as the subhead puts it, “The world needs France’s president to succeed in reviving his country’s fortunes.”

But it was hard to get past the very first paragraph: 

French presidents don’t so much govern as reign from the splendors of the Élysée Palace. They have powers most democratic leaders only dream of, able to deploy their military or command nuclear strikes without first consulting the national legislature.

In France, the president can take military action without consulting the legislative branch?

What a weird place that must be.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.