Union and Greens meet to explore. It is the only chance for the CDU and CSU to escape the opposition. However, there is one negotiator who has no desire for this alliance: Alexander Dobrindt.
Munich – The last time Alexander Dobrindt probed the Greens, he came up with a very nasty greeting. That was in 2017, instead of a dreamed-of black-yellow coalition, the election result would only have been enough for Jamaica. So with the Greens. “Now we have tofu in the meat soup,” grumbled the CSU politician.
Meal: The meat has become more fibrous, the tofu richer in the 2021 explorations. Dobrindt has to negotiate Jamaica again, this time as the Union’s only chance to rule the country. The Greens (14.8 percent) and the FDP (11.5) have gained strength, while the CDU / CSU fell to a record low (24.1). On Tuesday the negotiators of black and green sniff each other, this time Dobrindt should resist his soup ridicule.
Coalition negotiations: Dobrindt, the Union and anti-bourgeois “arsonists”
He hasn’t changed his mind. The 51-year-old from Peißenberg has been the most convinced opponent of the Greens in the CSU, for years, by almost any means. In 2011, as Secretary General, he circulated a “stick figure” video that mocked the Greens as a protest idiot with a slingshot. In 2013 he raised the debate about pedophile groups in the early Greens. As a result, he tried to brand the Greens as a prohibition and against party, as anti-bourgeois “arsonists”. So enthusiastically did he get into the details of the embellished Baerbock curriculum vitae that the Greens scolded about “character assassination”. He also did not participate when his party leader Markus Söder ensnared the Greens as a potential partner for months. He preferred to bring the “Germany” coalition of Union / SPD / FDP into play every day – which has now been done, the SPD is in the lead.
It is not hatred on his part, but calculation. He sees the Union moved too far into the left center and would like to locate it in a more conservative way. Green alliances threaten to blur the profile, to core the Union. He does not share Söder’s hope that the ruling Greens would be disenchanted. See Baden-Württemberg: The green regent Kretschmann may have been an accident in 2011, today he has been in office for a decade with ever lower bourgeois majorities. A long-term scenario even for Bavaria?
Dobrindt’s warning, as early as 2017: Jamaica would strengthen the right wing, strengthen the Greens as a force in the center and harm the Union. Large parts of the CSU base would react gallantly to compromises on migration or drug policy. But he wants to advance issues such as climate protection – essentially conservative – on his own, not just as an appendix of the eco-party.
Dobrindt (CSU): Re-elected regional group leader with license to attack
In the explorations, Dobrindt becomes an exciting figure, uncomfortable for the green negotiators. Personally, he cannot lose anything with or without Jamaica; he has just been re-elected as head of the national group. Leading the 45 CSU MPs is a freer position than any ministerial post – a position of power in the coalition committee, in the opposition the license to attack. He’s been living this since 2017.
At the same time, hardly anyone on the Union side thinks as strategically as he does. Dobrindt may read like a madman, in truth he calculates every trick and every comma in advance. Before the harshest political insults, he often pauses for thought, calculating the impact and long-term consequences.
CDU / CSU and Greens: Dobrindt and Hofreiter met discreetly several times
There are few among the Greens who can assess it. Party leader Robert Habeck may have good connections to FDP-Lindner and parts of the CDU, but not to Bavaria. The closest contact, again such a curiosity, is left winger Anton Hofreiter. He and Dobrindt, who publicly insulted each other (“hypocrites”, “ghost drivers”), met discreetly several times.
And now? Does Dobrindt spit in the tofu soup? On the eve of the meeting, he pretends to be tame. We learned from 2017, he tells our newspaper, that more willingness to find compromises is needed. “Not the claim to achieve the greatest possible victory over possible coalition partners.”
The parties are sounding out, the Bundestag is still sorting itself out. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s Afghanistan meeting does not fit into the schedule. Bad words are hailing.