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Hubert Kleinert/Greens, a centrist who was first an ideologue for the possibility of Red-Green, and later for CDU-Green options, writes another eulogy for Koch.

Es ist nachvollziehbar, dass die Unionsstrategen nach Themen zur eigenen Profilierung suchten, nachdem mit dem Auftritt der Linkspartei die "bürgerliche Mehrheit" im letzten Herbst unsicher geworden war. Statt aber darauf zu setzen, aus einer Position der Mitte und der Regierungserfahrung heraus mit Argumenten von Wirtschaftskompetenz und Solidität um Zustimmung zu werben, statt herauszustellen, was man bei Integration und in Sachen Kriminalitätsbekämpfung getan hat und zu tun gedenkt, hat Koch auf Lagerbildung und Zuspitzung gesetzt und sich damit auf ein für ihn selbst gefährliches Unternehmen eingelassen. It is understandable that CDU strategists looked for themes to enhance their own image, after the "bourgeois majority" became insecure with the entry of the Left Party last fall. But, instead of betting on courting support from a center position and government experience with arguments of economic competence and solidarity, instead of exposing what one did and plans to do on the issue of integration [of immigrants] and fighting crime, Koch betted on block formation and polarising agitation, and with that, he exposed himself to an endeavour dangerous to himself.

In other words: the centrists think Koch failed because he didn't try to be a centrist in the rightward direction. In fact, a number of CDU/CSU regional leaders are echoing this, in the form of lesson for their own election campaigns.

I guess that's something to celebrate: the Overton Window shifted for the other side, and significantly so, and xenophobic campaigns may be out even for Bavaria! However, I think it is more honest to point out that the centrist analysis is wrong: would it not be, Koch would never have won two elections before.

Claus Christian Malzahn, a resident neocon with SPIEGEL, is also finished with Koch. He calls his campaign xenophobic, even if he 'submits' that there is such a problem as immigrant youth crime, where he locates a key Koch error in pretending that it mainly hits Germans rather than fellow foreigners. (Possible translation: the Islamofascists enforce agreement with violence on the streets?...)

But what's really interesting in the Malzahn piece is that he is almost begging the FDP to re-consider its rejection of a Traffic Lights Coalition. Why?

Eine Ampel in Hessen könnte ... zudem ein Testlauf für den Bund sein. In Wiesbaden könnte man üben und Rollen verteilen: Die FDP als wirtschaftspolitisches Korrektiv in einer eher linksgewirkten Regierung - da gäbe es viel Raum für vernunftbetonten Auftritt. A traffic lights [coalition] in Hessen could ... also be a test run for the federal level. In [Hessen capital] Wiesbaden, one could exercise and allocate roles: the FDP as economic policy correction in a more left-acting government - there would be lots of room for reason-emphasizing demeanor.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jan 28th, 2008 at 10:55:52 AM EST
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