by Dagmar Henn
Actually, the judges at the constitutional court shouldn’t have met today. After all, Chancellor Angela Merkel could simply declare towards the end of her term of office that she had not thought about the election of the Thuringian Prime Minister at the time in South Africa and simply talked nonsense. Since she doesn’t want to be re-elected anyway, she could have buried the whole process that way.
In February 2020, the Thuringian FDP member Thomas Kemmerich was elected Prime Minister in the third ballot, in which only a relative majority is important, with the votes of the AfD. The reaction to this was self-pounding hypocrisy. Because the AfD, meat from the meat of the CDU and FDP, had been assigned the Nazi role, everyone was shocked and democracy was seen in danger.
In retrospect, after a year of lockdown and permanent emergency, it only looks ridiculous. There are, regrettably, today one can say with absolute conviction, completely different things and completely different people who endanger democracy; a few voices from the AfD are really Pillepalle compared to the ban on permanent meetings and the disenfranchisement under which we now live.
Merkel, who was visiting South Africa at the time, said she had to comment on the Thuringian election. It was a “unique process” that “broke with a basic conviction for the CDU and also for me that no majorities should be won with the help of the AfD.” To assert such a basic conviction is bold for the leader of a party that gave the Federal Republic of Germany the notorious Article 134 of the Basic Law, which gave all Nazi officials a legal right to re-employment in their old position. Globke and Kiesinger would be a couple of other names to check the basic conviction, or Filbinger. After all, it is fair to say that there was something against Nazis when those in your own party, who could easily be identified as such, have meanwhile blessed the time.
But Merkel went even further. She said the process was unforgivable and should be reversed, adding, “It was a bad day for democracy.”
As I said, there have now been several of them. And after all, the election of Kemmerich was a completely legal process, carried out by elected MPs, an act that is not objectionable under a constitution that has no imperative mandate, but only obliges the MPs to their conscience. The AfD would not have been involved in which nothing would have been objected to. One can ascertain soberly that they have no more in common with fascists than the Greens, who love to cuddle with fans of SS units, provided they are not Germans, but Ukrainians or Balts.
Well, Merkel could not only add her mustard, she also got her will. Kemmerich resigned and Ramelow was re-elected. So it wouldn’t do any harm even to her own eyes if she simply retracted what she said at the time. Not only would it have saved the not inconsiderable costs of proceedings at the Federal Constitutional Court; it would also have spared the republic having to see the theater of 2020 collide with the reality of 2021. But Merkel is right, always. She never does anything wrong. She will also instill this into us with regard to the flood that is currently underway.
The AfD has sued the Constitutional Court because Merkel’s statement violated the principle of neutrality to which the office of Federal Chancellor is subject. She was not allowed to make these statements at a press conference in the function of the Federal Chancellor, nor to spread them on the government websites, where they were to be found for a long time. The Federal Constitutional Court held the hearing today.
And Merkel sticks to her point of view. She sent her Chancellery Minister Helge Braun to Karlsruhe, who went one better on her behalf: the aim was to preserve the international reputation of the Federal Republic of Germany.
What reputation, and with whom, please, Ms. Merkel? The NATO allies have no problem with Ukrainian or Lithuanian SS commemorations, they don’t dress up because of a few votes from the AfD. The reputation of the Federal Republic among EU members suffers more from pressure to cut costs in Brussels and dictates from Berlin; are they supposed to get excited about an election in a small German state? And with others, the non-allies, the reaction is also limited, because the federal government itself is already busy with shredding the reputation.
What reputation? What is left of the myth of German perfection when the worldwide observers are done with the horrified laughter at the utter failure in the face of an announced flood? What can be found under this filing with the southern European neighbors, whose last economic hopes are being sacrificed on the altar of corona-induced tourism brakes from Germany?
You can do something for the reputation of Germany by improving the lives of the people here, respecting the sovereignty of other countries and making the country a lovable one, or you can want to let the world recover with the German character. Merkel has always pursued the latter with her policy.
Against the backdrop of the hurricane of hysteria, failure and corruption that characterized last year, the puppet theater from February 2020 already looks downright cute, even if, in its complete bypassing of the law, it looks like an anticipation of the emergency that is ours today Everyday life determined.
The constitutional court, which in any case is not likely to announce its decision for a few months, will set it as an epitaph over the Merkel era and, precisely because it is resigning, might even allow itself criticism; but that too will come across as a voice from the distant past, when things still had a semblance of order. As far as the state of the country is concerned, however, it is not yet clear whether it will have to go to the intensive care unit or to the closed one.
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