Sure, she won. But just what did she win?
She won a much more streamlined CDU, for instance. That’s her party. Although still the biggest fraction in the Bundestag, they are a whole lot smaller now and will therefore be much easier for her to manage.
She won a junior partner that now has foam all over its mouth, the CSU in Bavaria. They lost even more votes than her party did. The CSU folks are so furious about this that they are preparing to fire their boss, Horst Seehofer, someone who she never got along with so that’s cool, but they have had it SO up to here with her Kuschelpolitik (cuddle policies) that they are also about to make some big demands she could still dodge in the past but will now have to agree to if she wants to stay in power (a ceiling for the number of refugees allowed to enter the country, for example).
She won a once in a lifetime opportunity to form a three-way government with two parties having completely different world views – the Greens (green counter-culture romanticism) and the FDP (free market liberalism). She has to make it work with them because that’s the only realistic option she’s got so they have her more over the barrel than the CSU does.
She also won a brand new political party in Germany, the AfD, her very own creation, which now sits fat and sassy as the third biggest fraction in the Bundestag, still completely radioactive but thoroughly able to slow everything down and make things ugly as the second biggest opposition party after the SPD – a former partner of hers she just helped murder on Sunday.
Wow. No wonder she looks so happy.
I’m telling you, either that woman has entered a completely different realm of human consciousness or they keep her pumped up with some REALLY good stuff the rest of us will never, ever be able to get our hands on.
Angela Merkel started her election campaign hoping for a wealth of options for forming a coalition government — from a repeat of the grand coalition with the Social Democrats to alliances with either the centrist Free Democrats (FDP) or the Green party. After Sunday night, the chancellor’s dance card contains just one name: Jamaica.