After the thunderstorm in the state elections, the CDU continues unmoved as if nothing had happened. That should still take revenge. A comment by Merkur editor-in-chief Georg Anastasiadis.
Only the percentage points of the Union are evaporating faster than Germany’s vaccination hopes: 29 of them are left, the saddest value since the outbreak of the pandemic. The absence of any visible reaction to the election fiasco in the Southwest costs further trust. The Chancellor still has no word left for the citizens’ cry for help, let alone a reorganization of her breakdown cabinet. It is as if none of this was any of her business. And CDU boss Laschet describes lengthy candidacy timetables in TV interviews, instead of sketching in simple sentences how he wants to lead the Union out of its tale of tears. That borders on a refusal to lead. Instead of “we have understood” just an indignant “keep it up”. Instead of a rebellion and a clarifying, perhaps controversial, conversation with the Chancellor on the evening of the election, nothing but persevere slogans.
Laschet does not become Chancellor, but Merkel’s last victim
The North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister does not become Chancellor. But at most Merkel’s last victim. We remember: When Laschet, supported by Spahn, narrowly overthrew his rival Friedrich Merz at the party congress in January, he promised his disappointed supporters that he would be involved in a prominent position. But words were not followed by deeds. In truth, the CDU boss does not want the old competitor at all, not even as the future Minister of Economics, because he is too uncomfortable, too little controllable, too little streamlined for him. But what does the Union want to be elected for if it can neither display content nor people in the shop window? What if you no longer want angular figures that can bind entire groups of voters because they don’t fit so well into the oh-so-green, modern party? The CDU is lying to itself when it believes it can inspire voters with names like Laschet, Altmaier and Spahn. Without Merkel, her long-term guarantee of votes, all that remains of the CDU is an empty shell.
It is as if the ghostly late phase of Helmut Kohl’s government – which was cracked out of office shortly afterwards – is returning: Merkel only governs on her own account, hopes for a somewhat mild outcome for her coronavirus-stricken chancellorship and does not lift a finger for her staggering party. It is becoming more and more evident that they never saw the CDU as a political home, but as a physical experiment. The Republic can now examine the result.
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