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July 10, 2007

Comments

erphschwester

das erinnert mich an ein früheres posting über unseren ehemaligen buka schröder. ich sagte, daß die anzahl seiner ehen und auch das fehlen eigener kinder für alles mögliche, nicht jedoch beständigkeit, zuverlässigkeit und glaubwürdigkeit spricht.
die geschichte hat mir recht gegeben.

gleichwohl mag es stimmen, daß kreative geister (die eben unter anderem vielleicht auch nicht beständig sind) sehr wohl eine politische vision haben und diese umsetzen können.

(das erinnert mich aber auch an die fragestellung, ob raucher in jedem fall krankheitsanfälligere menschen sind als nichtraucher.
vielleicht sollte man manche verbindungen wirklich nicht herstellen?)

und immerhin finde ich es akzeptabler, in einem politiker auch den krisengeschüttelten menschen zu erblicken, als den, der sein leben nur im kalkül der öffentlichen ansicht lebt.

David

Schroeder was "unfaithful" to the United States and avoided getting involved in a disasterous war. Germans will be forever grateful for his infidelity.

erphschwester

ich möchte gern glauben, daß schröder diese entscheidung damals traf, weil er an sie glaubte. aber ich fürchte, es war nurmehr ein taktischer schachzug, der allein dem zweck des popularitätserhaltes dientes. schröder hatte ein gesicht zu verlieren, im lande und der welt.

inzwischen weiß er, daß man sein gesicht durch andere dinge verliert - und es ist ihm egal, solange das geld stimmt.

Axel

I guess describing Seehofer as "ultra-conservative" is a bit confusing for our American readers. You always have to remember that, according to German standards, Bill Clinton would have to be placed at the right wing of the German conservative party CDU. That was always the problem of Stoiber, he simply is too conservative for the rest of Germany, especially the northern and eastern part.

Politicians from the Bavarian CSU typically make a lot of fuss about their Catholic roots but their economical ideas are more leftist than those of the CDU or FDP (therefore, christlich-soziale Union).

When it comes to gays and lesbians, I can't remember of any incident during the last years where Seehofer was involved. The whole "debate" is quite non-existent on the political floor and it's always a stupid idea, even in Bavaria, for politicians to talk about things people should or shouldn't do in their bedrooms. Seehofer's extramarital affair is a bit different because he wants to succeed Stoiber and didn't take a clear stand if he will return to his (second) wife and his three children.

BTW, did you get the coming-out of Karin Wolff? She's minister for education in Hesse and well-known for flirting with Creationism. Now, especially German evangelicals are really confused...
http://www.welt.de/welt_print/article998521/Die_Bibeltreue.html

David

@Axel,

Good point. Anti-gay bigotry doesn't works as a political strategy in Germany (unlike in the US). Still, when it comes to women, doesn't the CSU still stand for a retrograde policy (Frauen zurueck-an-den-Herd)?

@erphschwester,
Mag sein, dass es reiner Opportunismus war. Trotzdem war es die richtige Entscheidung...

Björn

Still, the Schröder administration had no problem with German intelligence agencey BND helping the US army in Iraq during the war and with doing its best to keep Murat Kurnaz in Guantanamo, even after the US were willing to let him off the hook.

So Schröder was ready to openly condemn the US - because this was a popular stance to take - but he was never going to put his money where his mouth was.

By the way, David: When it comes to commenting on your blog, do you prefer German or English language?

David

Bjoern,
Thanks, comments in both language ares appreciated. Herzlich willkommen!

Axel

"Still, when it comes to women, doesn't the CSU still stand for a retrograde policy (Frauen zurueck-an-den-Herd)?"

Only partly, and that's actually one of the most interesting aspects when analyzing German interior politics. Bavaria and - not so well-known outside Germany - parts of Baden-Württemberg are the most conservative regions of the country. These are mostly rural areas where people still share high percentages of traditional Christian values, Catholicism in Bavaria and Protestantism/Pietism in BW. Harald Schmidt sometimes speaks of "Pietkong" when referring to this region. Former minister-president of BW, Erwin Teufel, unsuccessfully tried to install Annette Schavan as his successor instead of Günther Oettinger, and one problem was her sex which especially conservative female (!) voters of the CDU disliked. Oettinger's flirting with the extreme right (see the Filbinger affaire) is motivated by catching this important group of CDU voters.

But the CDU/CSU faces a real dilemma when trying to attract modern, urban voters at the national level at the same time. Young, well-educated women were the pivotal group of voters in the Bundestag election of 2002 responsible for the bad results of the CDU/CSU, especially in big cities. Someone like the gay major of Hamburg, Ole von Beust, is a prime example for this liberal-minded new image of the CDU. He indeed attracts non-traditional groups of voters and can win elections.

So the whole debate about women and children, non-traditional forms of partnership, the "family image" of the CDU/CSU and the modern politics of Ursula von der Leyen is a balancing act between attracting new voters and losing traditionalists. See
http://www.br-online.de/bayern-heute/artikel/0602/20-csu-familie/index.xml
http://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/;art771,2178983
http://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/;art771,1947453

That's the reason why I don't think that Seehofer will face serious problems because of his extramarital affair. Even in Bavaria, traditionalists become less important. See also
http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,460380,00.html

Furthermore, there's Stoiber's personal nightmare and party rebel CSU Landräting Gabriele Pauli, whose criticism ultimately resulted in Stoiber's resignation and who is especially notorious for posing in a red wig and latex gloves for German fashion journal "Park Avenue". She also candidates for chairman of the CSU. Definitely not a "Heimchen am Herd".

Axel

Just another funny political episode: Alice Schwarzer, Germany's most prominent feminist, spoke at the meeting of the CSU women in Bayreuth this weekend. Meanwhile, Emilia Müller, chairwoman of the CSU Frauen-Union, is advocating "alpha females" and female self-confidence.

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/,ra9m2/bayern/artikel/603/123431/

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