“Trump Still Clicks”

CNN title: Trump’s been president for two years. Germans still can’t look away. Nor will they look away. Because they can’t.

Trump

Why should this surprise anyone? This a perfectly normal everady pathological German obsession, no different than their irrational infatuation with Obama before Trump and their Verteufelung (demonization) of Bush before him (and on and on it goes). Germans are hysterical in these matters. It’s a collective psychological issue, an obsession with US-Amerika in the end. What is more, this collective hysteria is very profitable for the brain police in German media who milk it daily.

I’ve always liked this guy’s take on it (a Spiegel man himself): “German schadenfreude knows no bounds, particularly when it comes to the United States. The country loves to feel superior to a superpower like America. Yet Germany also harbors a childish infatuation with Obama — one which has little political grounding. The reasons are psychological. …The criticism of America has always been a bit infantile. One is familiar with the theory from psychoanalysis, when people talk about transference, or when suppressed feelings or emotions are overcome by projecting them onto others. It may work for a while, improving one’s feeling of self-worth by devaluing an imagined adversary. But it always falls short. Which is why the ritual must be constantly carried out anew.” – Jan Fleischhauer

Over two floors of Der Spiegel’s glasshouse building, walls bearing seven decades of the magazine’s covers serve as a colorful chronology of modern history. On one wall are cartoons of an angry yellow-haired man that are so provocative they’re impossible to miss.

“Trump still clicks, people are interested in those stories — and the same applies to our magazine stories and covers.”

Advertisements

Godot Has Just Left The Building

A snap election in Hesse this weekend? Yeah, maybe. But didn’t we just have one in Bavaria?

Godot

The real German problem is more subtle… She is broken, Señor. Germany, I mean. And ain’t nobody gonna fix her until she gets, like, really broken.

Waiting for Germany today is like waiting for Godot. Nothing will get fixed: neither the eurozone, nor climate, nor migration. Comfy but angst-ridden, Germans will keep having fake domestic crises, while the rest of Europe tries to keep a lid on real ones. Eventually, those real ones will erupt. And then a continent could accidentally get lost. At that point, Germans will finally get a proper crisis. Maybe it’s just as well that they kept rehearsing now.

Vor dem Knall – In Hessen findet am Sonntag nicht irgendeine Landtagswahl statt. Es wird ein politisches Erdbeben geben, die Auswirkungen wird vor allem Berlin spüren. Die Frage ist nur noch, ob es zuerst die SPD oder die CDU erreicht. Die Große Koalition steht vor dem Ende, das Land vor einer Zeitenwende

The Two-Party Is Over?

And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of folks. Or Volk, if you prefer.

SPD

The German Social Democrats’ (SPD) existential crisis can no longer be treated as a typical party crisis. The party captured a mere 9.7% of the vote in regional elections in Bavaria this month, and it is trailing both the populist Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) and the Greens in national opinion polls. With another important regional election fast approaching in Hesse, polls indicate that the SPD will lose still more support, albeit not as dramatically as in Bavaria…

Most likely, the fall of the CDU/CSU-SPD duopoly will undermine German hegemony in Europe, even if no other country can replace Germany in that role. At the same time, the weakening of the SPD will diminish the socialist faction in the European Parliament, where a similar eclipse of two-party rule could be in the offing. Yet without the twin pillars of the European People’s Party and the Party of European Socialists, the parliament will be incapable of making even insignificant decisions. As Germany and the SPD go, so goes Europe.

Not Bad

The polling predictions made before the Bavarian election yesterday, I mean.

Polls

Whether the actual results are bad or not depends entirely upon your point of view.

The CSU’s drop was not quite as bad as predicted (although they will no longer be able to govern without a coalition partner), the SPD’s drop was breathtaking (the worst regional election result in their history) and the AfD did not get the votes that many had feared they would. This was probably due to the success of the regional “Free Voters” party (CSU-light) that will now most likely be the CSU’s coalition partner. The free market-friendly FDP just got in by the skin of their teeth with 5.1 percent of the vote (5 percent minimum needed). The Left didn’t make it in, as usual. The Greens made a huge leap forward but who cares? This is Bavaria and they don’t go for this utopian stuff so they’ll make a fine opposition party which is where they belong.

So it looks like Angie Merkel will live to resign another day, as usual.

Die CSU hat die absolute Mehrheit in Bayern verloren, sie kommt nach dem vorläufigen Endergebnis nur noch auf 37,2 Prozent. Die SPD erlebt ein Debakel. Wahlgewinner sind die Grünen, die Freien Wähler und die AfD.

How Accurate Are The Polls For German Elections?

We know how accurate they can be for American elections, right? Let’s see what the results will be like after the Bavarian election today.

Bavaria

Some say if Merkel’s CSU partner party loses as bad as these polling number suggest it could be the straw that finally breaks her camel’s back. I doubt it will happen, though. As the Germans say: Totgesagte Leben Länger. This chick ain’t never going away.

Just like Oktoberfest, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative sister party is woven into the checked fabric of Bavarian culture.

The Christian Social Union (CSU) has ruled Germany’s richest state since 1957, sharing power just once in a coalition with the free-market FDP. And since then, every Bavarian prime minister has risen from its ranks.

But now, swift as a reveller draining his tankard, support has ebbed away.

The CSU is bracing itself for humiliating losses in Sunday’s Bavarian state election. The party is on course to lose the absolute majority its leaders once took for granted.

Bayern steht vor einem politischen Erdbeben.

Perfect For The Job

As head of a “worker’s” party like Germany’s SPD, I mean: Somebody who has never worked a day in her life.

Nahles

Folks like that know best how to distribute/redistribute other people’s money. I guess this election means that the SPD commrades want to stretch out their party’s long and excruciating terminal illness for as long as they possibly can. Good choice, workers. She is clearly the best man for the job.

Andrea Nahles has become the first woman to lead Germany’s Social Democrats — though by a disappointing margin of votes…

After garnering a meager 66.35 percent of delegate support at a special conference in the western German city of Wiesbaden on Sunday, Andrea Nahles takes over a Social Democratic Party (SPD) in an unprecedented crisis.

Scarcely a year ago, SPD delegates had unanimously elected Martin Schulz, the longtime president of the European Parliament, as party leader and chancellor candidate. The result was a historic national electoral debacle against Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), leaving the SPD deeply divided over policy and personnel.

After initial refusals, party leaders decided to extend the grand coalition with Merkel’s CDU and Bavaria’s Christian Social Union, which allies with the chancellor’s conservatives. Nahles’ job is to remake and re-energize the SPD while ensuring that its cabinet ministers can do their jobs with minimum of interference by fellow Social Democrats.

“Solidarity is one of the main things missing in this globalized, neoliberal turbocharged world.”

If The Deutsche Post Does It It’s Different

As usual, German Scheiße doesn’t stink.

Deutsche Post

When it comes to data mining = Cambridge Analytica = Facebook = US-Amerika, we’re talking pure evil. The Deutsche Post, on the other hand, is the Deutsche Post so it ain’t no big deal – when they do the same thing. The outrage hält sich in Grenzen (is kept within limits).

Deutsche Post sold client microtargeting data to the Christian Democrats and Free Democrats before the 2017 elections. Is this a scandal along the lines of Cambridge Analytica in the US? That depends on whom you ask.

“German ‘data-driven’ canvassing cannot be compared with the highly sophisticated US campaigns, which use reliable data, experimental findings and data modeling to identify individual voter targets.”

Operation Valkyrie 2.0?

‘We don’t have much time’ Angela Merkel’s youth wing plots to OUST her as popularity drops.

Merkel

Worried that the tiny little bit that is left of the CDU could soon evaporate altogether after Chancellor Merkel’s breathtakingly poor negotiation results in forming the latest grand coalition (the CDU has, in essence, become the SPD – the tail will soon be wagging the dog), a small group of fanatical CDU youth is preparing to implement an emergency continuity of CDU government operations plan as soon as they can figure out a way to bump off the old bag. Politically speaking, of course.

Insiders speculate that incriminating photos of a drugged Chancellor in bed with an even more drugged Martin Schulz ought to do the trick.  Outsiders speculate that there are not enough drugs out there strong enough to enable anybody to look at photos like that.

“Merkel has yielded critical levers in order to buy herself another four years in the country’s top office. Now these SPD politicos, most of whom are relatively unknown outside Berlin, will be the ones to shape the politics of Europe and Germany, the EU’s mightiest member, in the years to come.”

German Of The Day: Armutszeugnis

That means “certificate of poverty” but is more like “evidence of incapability” or even “pathetic display.”

SPD

And that’s precisely what the head of the SPD is displaying so pathetically right now, yet again. “German election would further harm SPD, Schulz warns.” Like duh. They’ve been sinking in the polls like rocks.

The leader of Germany’s Social Democrats on Friday urged members of his center-left party to endorse coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives or risk facing new elections that could further damage the party.

Amazing, really. The head of such a “principled” political party, grabbing for straws, tells his people to knuckle under at coalition talks knowing 1) this will upset the few people who still vote for the SPD but 2) if the coalition talks with Merkel’s CDU/CSU fail then the SPD will lose even bigger when new elections are called, which then must be the case (sure hope so). There’s your rock. There’s your hard place. I almost feel sorry for them this time. But only almost.

“If the parties do not succeed in forming a government with the majorities in the Bundestag, then voters will punish them.”

Give Us More Of What We Just Voted Out Of Office

The city of Berlin isn’t the only thing that is dysfunctional in Germany these days.

Merkel

Maybe the Germans ought to consider fixing their parliamentarian system, too. I mean, the one thing that voters made perfectly clear just a few weeks back is that they do NOT want a continuation of the so-called GroKo (grand coalition government of CDU/CSU and SPD). But after Empress Merkel failed miserably during the Jamaica exploratory talks by going greener and green and letting the FDP get away, new talks are beginning to go for that very thing.

She doesn’t want to go with a minority CDU/CSU government, you see, because than her majesty’s government would have to explain everything to parliamentarians first before getting a majority to pass any legislation. She can explain things just fine, it’s just that fewer and fewer Germans agree with her explanations anymore. But a minority government is what she must go with, I find, until new elections are held. This, too, being something that nobody wants.

So, German voters got what they voted for, I guess: Nothing that they wanted.

Deputy SPD head Olaf Scholz said recently that a rebirth of the grand coalition would “have negative consequences for our democracy.” It would also mean that the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) would be the strongest party in opposition. That means it would always have the privilege in parliament of delivering the first rebuttal to Merkel’s speeches.