It looked pretty good for the SPD in Hessen for a few minutes there. But after Roland Koch of the CDU shot himself in the foot with his foreign delinquent campaign that nobody can seem to remember anymore and lost his party’s majority there, the SPD tries and succeeds at topping that piece of brilliance by breaking a vow to voters of never absolutely positively never ever working together with the Left party to form a government. They did try it, of course, with support from their fearless leader Kurt Beck in Berlin even, and now the SPD’s foot is bleeding rather badly, too. And not just in Hessen, either.

Is there something wrong with the drinking water in Frankfurt these days? No, I don’t mean that the SPD shoots itself in the foot there (they do that all the time, wherever they are), I mean that they suddenly produce politicians with a little backbone who actually stick to what they say. And no, I don’t mean the Hessen SPD leader Andrea Ypsilanti, she’s a classic opportunist like all the others. I mean a “nobody” like the regional SPD lawmaker Dagmar Metzger who put an abrupt stop to her party’s courting of the Left by refusing to give Ypsilanti her vote.

Not unlike the way another woman who brought down the fat and sassy leadership of the CSU in Baveria not too long ago and then rode off into the sunset of political oblivion as her just reward, Frau Metzger decided to go against the rest of her own pack and do the right thing by voting, or in this case not voting, her conscience. In some countries and cultures this type of behaviour is called “civil courage” and it is looked upon with great admiration and respect. And I can’t help but get the impression that despite all the predictable moaning and groaning that goes on at first, Germany is one of those countries, too. Or at least it can be.

Women can sure be hard-headed, can’t they? But why can’t they be like that more often? In politics, I mean.

Come visit me at Observing Hermann…

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