Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Mission accomplished. Germany elects first female chancellor.

The big news of the day here in Germany is of course the election and swearing-in of the new Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel, Germany’s first woman federal chancellor. My congratulations Madam Chancellor for working your way to the top of German politics; a journey full of danger, intrigue, betrayals, pessimism, personal and political landmines, blame games, and a generally mean-spirited and thankless electorate (sounds like Washington D.C., don’t it?).
Good Luck Angie!

Honestly, Angela Merkel is a real fighter and
her story is well worth the time to read and understand. The shy daughter of a German Lutheran pastor she grew up behind the Iron Curtain in the former German Democratic Republic. After the fall of the Iron Curtain and the Soviet Empire in 1989-1990 she became involved with the East German Demokratischer Aufbruch party that merged with the West German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in 1990. Merkel worked her way to the top of the CDU party elite under the careful guidance of Germany’s longest-serving chancellor, Helmut Kohl.

The recent snap elections called by former Bundeskanzler
Gerhard Schröder in September 2005 was a particularly nasty and hard fought campaign even by German standards. In the end Bozo’s (Schröder) political shenanigans backfired on him and the SPD (Social Democratic Party) and Angie’s party won by a very slim margin (1%). Here is a blow-by-blow account of the German elections 2005 by Der Speigel magazine’s international online edition (English).

The German voters have a great deal of trouble to be worried about, not least of all the issues of jobs and the economy and the highly coveted
transatlantic relationship with the United States of America. What relationship? That love affair is over Sucka! However we might cut Angie some slack at the beginning to see if she can get Deutschland back on track with The Program. The German public is basically worried about only one thing in the transatlantic relationship with the U.S.:MADE IN GERMANY = Please buy our stuff. Pleeaasse!

I was pulling for Frau Merkel in the recent elections by the way, albeit I am not a citizen of Deutschland and cannot vote here. Thank God. Here in northern Germany one is surrounded by voters that continue to have their thick heads stuck up Schroeder’s red (Socialist) rear-end. The atmosphere here today is not one of jubilation, let me tell you. Sort of reminds me of the days shortly after the Berlin Wall fell back in 1989. That was a Black Day for many West Germans. Surprised? Do your research on West vs. East Germans if you don’t believe me.

So Madam Chancellor Angela, although I and many others are pleased that you are finally able to takeover the reigns of power in
Good Old Germany I would like to move on to write about another outstanding Madam President-in-waiting who has earned her right to rule: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of the Republic of Liberia.

In the meantime my readers can catch the latest on Chancellor Angela Merkel by following the German point-of-view links below. Auf Wiedersehen. Y’all.

Technorati search for German and international bloggers:
Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel, German politics, Politik
Deutsche Welle (English language version):
Der Spiegel Online (international edition – English)

Some U.S. political Think Tanks operating in Germany:
Aspen Institute in Berlin: Dr. Jeffrey Gedmin appears on more political talk shows in Germany than Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show.

The GMF (
German Marshall Fund): second only to the Aspen Institute on German "Let’s Talk Politics" TV. However, checkout this November 09, 2005 testimony by the GMF's Dr. Karen Donfried to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Emerging Threats: Germany after the Elections: Implications for U.S. - German Relations

P.S. I love the title of this U.S. Congressional subcommittee: Europe & Emerging Threats!

5 comments:

yovo68 said...

BRE
Funny you should call this "mission accomplished" -a tagline that evokes aircraft carriers and badly fitting flight suits to many Americans. It also evokes a pre-mature claim of victory when the real mess has not even begun yet. And it evokes a clueless leader who is in over his his head.

Kanzlerin Sauerkraut has lead her party boldly from certain victory to the brink of defeat. In June the CDU polled at 48 percent. Three months later, they got a mere 35 percent in the election. Yeah - mission accomplished, I suppose ...

I really doubt that she has the leadership qualities it takes to keep in line Stoiber and some of the other idiots in her party. In the meantime, the SPD is just watching gleefully the CDU/CSU implode.

Be that as it may - I hope you're OK, BRE, I understand that the weather is a bit rough right now in N. Germany. Take care ...

Black River Eagle said...

Hi Yovo,

The mission was to get rid of Schröder and his administration. He's G-O-N-E along with many of his ministers and cronies and to everyone's surprise the SPD party chairman Franz Münterfering too (that wasn't part of the plan, but we'll take it). Heard on the news the other day that Schröder is taking a new gig with a Swiss media concern. Good move as long as it keeps him out of global politics.

It was the SPD that went into self-destruct shortly after the election, not the CDU or CSU parties. Read the Der Speigel article from November 1, 2005 titled "Letter from Berlin: Germany's Political Farce Continues".

As I attempted to point out in my posting, many Germans and especially voters for the SPD and Die Grünen (The Greens) political parties are not willing to give Angela Merkel and the new Grand Coalition government a chance. It's the typical German mentality of Doom and Gloom that you as a German are all too familiar with. Am I right? Of course I'm right. Ja, nein, oder ja-ein?

Angela Merkel is politically competent and she is a fighter. If she was able to fight her way to the top of German politics in record time then she will be able to hold on to the reigns of power in this country and she just might be able to turn things around here economically and otherwise. Germany has a lot of ground to cover domestically and globally and it's high time that Germans begin to pull their own weight in the areas of global security and conflict resolution and fair trade policies and on and on and on. Party's over Dude, time to get down to serious work. Real serious.

If Angela Merkel fails it won't be her fault alone but will be with the generous help of many people in this country who are out to get her for the most selfish and foolish of reasons. Schadenfreude-loving Rotweillers Made in Germany who are constantly growling phrases like:

Get Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, etc! Get Die Ammis (Amerikaner)! Get Angela Merkel! Comprende?

Your move, Comrade. Or is that checkmate?

P.S. We're fine up here on the Nordsee with the light snowfall we had over the weekend. It's those Rheinlanders down below Osnabruck who are suffering from a 60cm Schneechaos. Peinlich!

yovo68 said...

BRE

"The mission was to get rid of Schröder and his administration." Do you really believe that THIS is what they wanted? C'mon - this Frankenstein government? The CDU wanted absolute power, and it should have been easy. They polled at 48 percent in June!!! yeah - Schroeder is gone. But he left his party a nice parting gift.

"It was the SPD that went into self-destruct shortly after the election, ..." I read the Spiegel article you refer to and this is old news. The real news is that the SPD managed to pull off a complete leadership overhaul after the election and after Muente jumped out the window. I don't know any of the new guys, so I have no idea how that's going to play out. But as far as self-destruction goes, nothing beats the infighting between Merkel and the Kohl cabal on one side and Stoiber's CSU Lederhos'n spezies and the various other good-old-boy networks in the CDU. That was what cost them the election and that is what makes this government so unstable. Those guys are pissed that the Kohl gang put a "little lady" in charge, an OSSI who's a PROTESTANT! Oh-my-god! Those guys don't like her because she's not a Catholic Wessi guy.

As far as "giving Angela Merkel a chance" goes - a chance to do what? Screw up Germany as badly as her mentor Kohl did? I know "gloom and doom" and this ain't it. If people are pessimistic about this government, it's because they understand who's behind Merkel, and they paid attention to the Kohl-Merkel connection and the vested interests that control them.

And how do you see this government ensuring that "Germans begin to pull their own weight in the areas of global security and conflict resolution and fair trade policies"??? Do you mean invade other countries? Condone torture and make deals with crooks and terrorists? Foreign Minister Fischer worked tirelessly for reconciliation and peace in the Middle East. Is that not pulling our weight? Merkel's party has its foreign-policy head firmly inserted in the rear of that guy in the Whitehouse. I would not consider that pulling their weight. (Of course some might disagree ... )

"Party's over, Dude" - uh, what party?? Did I miss a party?
The party of repairing the damage that 16 years of Kohls reign has wrought upon the workers in Germany? The party of repairing the damage 50 years of Stalinism in East Germany? The party of dealing with this ill-conceived, premature, so-called reunification and the massive giveaways of public assets during the "privatization" of the former state property? That was a party for some, to be sure, but most Germans were not invited to that party.

BTW: glad to hear you didn't get snowed in - yeah - big "OOOPS" over there in the Rheinland!

Black River Eagle said...

Wow! Good comeback Yovo. I see that we disagree on several issues re: Politik in Deutschland, etc., etc.

We'll pickup this dogfight down the road if you don't mind. In the meantime, let's wait and see what comes out of Berlin over the next 6 months or so. Even more important, let's see if den deutshcen Volk stop jammering and criticizing everthing and everybody and show the world how to do it right... if they can.

A German with some real fight in him. I like that. Must be those grits you been eatin' down in the Carolinas..:-)

yovo68 said...

BRE
yeah - no hard feelings. Fat chance re. the whining in Germany. That'll never stop. That's part of why I left.

And no, its not the grits - it's the moonshine down here ;)

Anyway - good luck with Angie ...