The careerists prevail in the Union

BerlinAnyone who saw Ralph Brinkhaus in an interview late on Tuesday evening had to rub their eyes and ears first. Ingo Zamperoni, the otherwise so clever “Tagesthemen” presenter, who asked the questions, seemed a bit baffled by what he learned.

Brinkhaus had just been re-elected parliamentary group leader of the Union and happily explained how great he thinks it is and that we now want to look ahead and start working now. But he did not mean coming to terms with his own grievances, but in all seriousness his party’s entry into exploratory talks with the election winners – with the aim of forming a government coalition.

You have to dare to do that first.

Less than four days ago, the Union experienced its worst election failure in a federal election. Your candidate for chancellor is more unpopular among the population and, above all, among its own party members than anyone before him. The government mandate clearly went to the competition – and yet the Union continues as before. A parliamentary group leader is elected, but only for six months and not for a year as is usual after elections. There is some criticism of the candidate who apologizes to those who have lost their mandate. And then everything is as always. Are you crazy?

With this course of the parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, the Union decided to follow Armin Laschet into the parallel universe in which he has apparently been living for days. In this world there is still a realistic chance of a Jamaica coalition under his leadership. This can also be determined by the empty words, the phrases that Union politicians are now increasingly using. No, not the one about the relentless work-up and that you understood. Now it is said: one is able to work. One could also renew oneself in the government. And: the Union is capable of acting, it is needed. You didn’t win the election, but you’re still ready to take on responsibility. And someone always likes to say this sentence: first the country, then the party, then the person.

Who explains to the Union politicians that they have just very boldly changed the order of this motto and just as naively hope that no one will notice?

Rather, the only solution for Armin Laschet is to somehow build a Jamaica coalition. Only in this way can he – at least for a while – stay at the top of his party. That, in turn, keeps quiet because for 16 years it has had no other purpose than to rule. If it were different, someone would remind you these days that you have postponed your own basic program over and over again. Election campaign was more important.

The horse-trading for the parliamentary group chairmanship was downright significant in this context. Of course, those involved prefer to speak of compromise. Because Ralph Brinkhaus was only elected for six months and not for twelve, even those who would have liked to have been elected also kept quiet. No, not Laschet. He knows that he has to put everything on one card. What we mean here are politicians like Carsten Linnemann, Jens Spahn, Friedrich Merz or Norbert Röttgen. They did not demand any processing of the election failure on Tuesday. The local and district associations should do that nicely.

The parliamentary group weighs up the chances soberly. If Jamaica comes, there will be more posts to distribute than in the opposition. So you let it come down to it again. The CSU has recognized the danger. There was warned on Tuesday that Jamaica should not be negotiated to the point of giving up. The irony of the story: Now it is precisely the little Bavarian and otherwise often outrageous party sister who is now standing there naively. Because of course Armin Laschet will promise the Greens and the FDP what he can to get them on board.

The SPD therefore already has fears. Even before the first exploratory discussion has taken place, people are worried about ricochets from the underdog camp. You can literally hear Friedrich Merz now saying that this is realpolitik. From his point of view, that’s probably also true. But out of self-interest, the Berlin bubble of the party should take a look at the much-quoted people out there in the country. More precisely: to your own party friends. They have to represent the historical election failure on site. Who knows, maybe the base will step back soon.



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