German Of The Day: Jamaika-Aus

That means, sadly, the collapse of the Jamaica talks to form a CDU/CSU/FDP/Green government. And is, coincidentally, Germany’s Word of the Year for 2017.

Jamaica

Sadly because the SPD has now been given the chance to come out of its we’re-absolutely-positively-never-ever-going-to-come-out-of-opposition pout after getting creamed during this year’s election. The SPD can do this kind of 180 degree turn stuff. Nobody cares. Just like nobody cares about who the chancellor is, apparently.

Denoting the ongoing failure to form a governing majority in German, Jamaica Out was one of several political neologisms chosen by the Society for German Language (GfdS) on Friday for its Word of the Year, which has been awarded since 2009.

PS: This kind of stuff gives me a hangover. I think I’ll drive over to the new Denny’s in Hanover and order me some pancakes or something (this article says Denny’s is where you go in US-Amerika for your hangover breakfast).

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Promise?

Do you promise that “relations with the US will never be the same after Trump?”

Gabriel

Because that would be great if you made sure that was the case, German Foreign Minister Gabriel (SPD). And I couldn’t agree more with what you just said in that context; that Germany needs to be more confident about defending it’s own interests and draw red lines where it needs to draw red lines. Germany first? By all means. It’s not the most original idea but we can all see where you’re coming from. Stay tuned, everyone.

Deutschland müsse künftig selbstbewusster seine Interessen vertreten, verlangt Gabriel. “Wir müssen selbst unsere Positionen beschreiben und notfalls rote Linien ziehen – unter Partnern, aber an unseren eigenen Interessen orientiert.”

A Little Paralysis Never Hurt Anybody

If this is Germany’s acting government they sure are pretty lousy actors.

Merkel

On Thursday, the German chancellor spent two hours at the German president’s office in Bellevue Palace with the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Martin Schulz, and the leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), Horst Seehofer. The president wants to prevent new elections and has urged the SPD and the CSU, the conservative alliance partner of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to start afresh with the unpopular grand coalition, despite all past disappointments.

It will likely come to that, as the SPD is now ready for talks, even if it is still keeping its options open, including tolerating a CDU/CSU minority government. But it may take a while until a government is formed — some observers suspect the country could have to wait until March for a government to emerge from September’s election. After all, just a few weeks ago, the SPD was fiercely determined to reposition itself in the opposition.

But honestly, who really cares about any of this, anyway? As long as people here can still concentrate on the really dangerous governments out there chances are that nobody else will even notice that Germany doesn’t have one.

Right-Wing Leftie? Left-Wing Rightie?

Let’s call the whole thing off.

Sahra

Here is another tough, emancipated woman in action. Left party crazy Sahra Wagenknecht just heuled (cried) her way through her latest power struggle to stay on top – of her party, of course (they wanted to calm her down a bit because she was going too far right and starting to sound like regular folks on the street – with regard to refugees, for instance).

But how did she do it? By pouting and getting all teary-eyed and hysterical and howling about being mobbed and threatening to resign and leave the party if she didn’t get her way. Wow. I never saw a woman pull that one before. How refreshing. Somebody has to be a trend setter, I guess.

Kipping legt gegen Wagenknecht nach: “Souverän geht anders.”

 

German Of The Day: Ideologische Leerformeln

That means empty ideological formulas. And that is what author Thilo Sarrazin accuses Angela Merkel of hiding behind.

Sarrazin

“Merkel claims that she cannot see that she has done anything wrong. She acts as though she does not understand what belongs to the core responsibilities of a national government. That is, to decide who is allowed to enter the country and who is allowed to remain. Merkel does not have the Germans or the German people in view, she follows an internationalist and universalistic political approach.”

This guy regularly pisses everybody off with these “incorrect” views of his. And he’s SPD, for crying out loud. More power to him, I say. When he’s right on the money like he is here, at least.

Merkel tut so, als ob sie nicht verstanden hätte, was zu den Kernzuständigkeiten einer Zentralregierung gehört. Nämlich darüber zu entscheiden, wer ins Land kommen darf und wer sich hier aufhalten kann. Merkel hat nicht die Deutschen oder das deutsche Volk im Blick, sie verfolgt einen internationalistischen und universalistischen Politikansatz. Das kann man gut oder schlecht finden. Aber viele finden das nicht gut.

Angela Merkel Won The Election?

Sure, she won. But just what did she win?

Jamaica

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.

 

If I Had A Vision I’d Go See My Doctor

Die Mitte (the middle) is where it’s at, folks. Well it’s certainly where I’m at. And you can’t have visions from here in the middle. I mean, I may not always know what I stand for but I always know where I’m standing..

Mitte

And that’s what Germans want, the middle. The middle of the middle, even. The middler the better. No meddling with the middle. We’re right in the middle of an election campaign, after all. Did you know that Mittelmaß (literally “the middle measure”) means mediocrity in German?

Sure, there was a little Abweichung (deviation) from the middle with that batshit crazy refugee number of mine. Quite a big deviation, actually. But I apologized. Sort of. And now I’m back home, smack dab in the middle of where you want me to be. Just call me. Mutti. Mutti in the middle.

See you on Sunday!

Perhaps the closest she came to setting out a vision was a year ago, as she presented this year’s budget in parliament. Germany, she said, has seen a lot of change since World War II, and “change isn’t a bad thing.” But she also vowed to defend the status quo in the broadest sense of the term: “Germany will remain Germany, with all that we love and hold dear about it.”

“Whoever has visions should go see a doctor.”
– Helmut Schmidt

“German wedding traditions you’ll want to adopt”

1. Men marry women (or vice versa).

Marriage

2. Then they raise a family together.

The other traditions aren’t all that interesting, I find.

In an absolutely, positively and purely political move she has perfected over the years (to take the wind out of her opponent’s sails in the coming election by suddenly doing 180 degrees and making their stand her own)… German Chancellor Angela Merkel has opened the door to a free vote in parliament on legalising same-sex marriage, after signalling a shift in her party’s position on it. Mrs Merkel surprised the German media by saying she favoured a “decision of conscience” on gay marriage. Her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) have previously opposed it – unlike the rival Social Democrats (SPD), Free Democrats (FDP) and Greens.

German politicians, like politicians everywhere, are always talking to you about their principles. This is a prime example of what they mean by that.

Your Fifteen Minutes Are Up, Martin

According to Andy Warhol, as you all know: “In the future, everyone will be a popular German chancellor candidate for 15 minutes.” So you can move on now, Martin Schulz (SPD). You’ve done your time.

Schulz

In the latest poll taken by ZDF-Politbarometer, 44 percent of those asked said they would support Martin Schulz for chancellor in the coming election. The same number would also support Angela Merkel, however. Last month the numbers were 49 percent for Schulz and 38 percent for Merkel.

Im ZDF-Politbarometer sprechen sich bei der Frage, wen man nach der Bundestagswahl lieber als Kanzler oder Kanzlerin hätte, jetzt 44 Prozent für Merkel und ebenfalls 44 Prozent Schulz aus. Vergangenen Monat hatte der SPD-Mann mit 49 Prozent noch einen deutlichen Vorsprung vor der Amtsinhaberin, die nur auf 38 Prozent kam.

German Of The Day: Multikulti

That means multiculti, as in multicultural. And this is a word that is suddenly “out” for Angela Merkel’s CDU, for some inexplicable reason.

Multikulti

But to compensate for the loss, Modernisierungsverlierer (modernization losers) is now officially “in” with them. And just in case you were wondering, we are once again moving into election season in Germany and these “losers” are the same ones who have helped parties like the AfD become “winners” in recent years. Sounds vaguely familiar somehow but I can’t seem to put my finger on it at the moment.

Im Entwurf für den Leitantrag, der beim Parteitag Anfang Dezember beschlossen werden soll, sprechen die Christdemokraten ausdrücklich jene Bürger an, “die sich als Modernisierungsverlierer sehen und derzeit noch bei populistischen Parteien von rechts und links ihre Zuflucht suchen”.