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One of the factors at play here is the CDU's election loss in North Rhine-Westphalia last spring, and not only because it made Merkel more dependent on the CSU (Bavarian) rightists and their allies elsewhere.

The CDU in NRW was, for a "C-party", very open-minded about immigration and comfortable with multiculturalism. When in power, they were the first state government to raise immigration issues to the ministry level. Also, CDU mayors were instrumental in building community consensus in favor of mosques in Cologne and Duisburg.

But Rüttgers' CDU was voted out of office, the counterweight to the nativist wing has been discredited within the CDU, and both the bigots and the opportunists have taken note.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Tue Oct 19th, 2010 at 03:35:46 AM EST

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