Federal Republic of Discombobulation

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The
moment you think it can't get worse, it does. During the last week,
political careers went down the toilet by the dozen. It started
when Mr. Franz Müntefering, the designated Vice Chancellor,
lost a political gamble in his Social Democratic Party (SPD) and
with it the support of his party base. He will most probably not
be available for a cabinet post in our new administration, which
opens an entirely new can of worms for our designated Chancelorette,
Ms. Merkel, who should be elected by the Bundestag on November 22,
this year. But till then it is a long way to go and nobody can predict
what is going to happen.

After
Mr. Schröder and Mr. Fischer were either disgruntled or intelligent
enough to terminate (for the time being…) their political careers,
the first probably going to Florida, the latter, having happily
married for the fifth time, to Tuscany, Italy, where his new bride
has a decent property, things looked quite clear for a while.

But
after Mr. Müntefering lost his pet candidate for the SPD board,
he lost more than just a position in a chess game. One of his worst
adversaries from the left wing took the place and this will probably
give the SPD a new course towards its socialist roots. He could
but resign and will not be available to renew his SPD presidency
at the party convention in mid-November. I leave the answer to the
question who is going to take his place to astrologists, as he had
caught the entire party trousers down with his sudden resignation.

Who
is going to be our Vice Chancellor is equally clear, so the next
few days will remain interesting.

To
keep things from becoming too easy for Ms. Merkel, the Prime Minister
of Bavaria, Edmund Stoiber, Cristian Social Union (CSU), the temporarily
designated Secretary of Economy, resigned from his candidacy, because
he is safe in Bavaria, where he holds a comfortable majority, and
does not feel the urge to cope with the more pronouncedly socialist
SPD cabinet-mates who will take Müntefering's place.

I
feel reminded of the worst period of the old and forgotten Weimar
Republic, where the dissolution of a political body which had never
been an integral thing in the first place, opened the way to National
Socialism, war, mass murder and the destruction of "Old Europe,"
which has still not recovered from that period.

Some
folks say a lesson in history must be repeated until understood,
so the German flunkies will have to go through the worst again.

Any
place to run to and hide left?

November
3, 2005

Ulrich
Biele
[send him mail] is
a consultant in Munich, Germany.

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