2018 is again for the CDU: Laschet offers himself as a victim – only to whom?

First the CDU lets it through that party leader Laschet is not sticking to his office, then he appears and vigorously advertises a “real departure” in a Jamaica alliance. And while he speaks like this, the question arises: What reality is this supposed to represent?

He speaks for about ten minutes, questions are not allowed afterwards. There would have been a lot to ask. So it should be noted: CDU chief Armin Laschet has appeared in front of the press, he has announced three messages. And caused multiple confusion in the process.

So that in the end it becomes clear what he wants to say, Laschet provides a “conclusion in three sentences”. It reads: “The CDU is still ready for Jamaica. We are already working intensively on the election result now, in the near future. And we will also tackle the new staffing of the CDU, from the chairman to the presidium to the federal executive board, quickly . “

Then he says that his goal now and always has been “to reconcile opposites, to come to a common ground” and that it is important that a strong, bourgeois people’s party in Europe achieves new successes and makes its contribution with renewed vigor on the future of the country “. Laschet exit.

There is no trace of vigor in this performance, but that is only a marginal aspect. You have to know two things in order to be able to classify this appearance. First: Were immediately before Laschet the three general secretaries of the SPD, Greens and FDP appeared in front of the pressto announce that their party’s exploratory negotiations will officially start on Monday. They exuded an atmosphere of concentrated departure and capped optimism – especially FDP General Secretary Volker Wissing refrained from any expression of joy.

Extensive head scratching

Nevertheless, the chances of a Jamaica government, which were already slim, have become even smaller. Because even in the Union it was understood that if these negotiations were not successful, the traffic lights would not fail because of the SPD, but because of a conflict between the FDP and the Greens. But these are exactly the parties that the Union would need for a Jamaica alliance.

And the second: From the switching conference of the Union faction, it became known immediately before the appearance of the traffic light negotiators, that the CDU chief had announced his withdrawal. He only wanted to remain party chairman until a successor was found. Immediately afterwards, the CDU invites its chairman to give a press statement. Topic: the progress of the exploratory talks.

This announcement alone causes extensive head-scratching among journalists. The Union is not involved in the exploratory talks, what should Laschet have to say about this? And hadn’t he just announced his departure?

The day before, Söder had announced the opposite

The beginning of the statement only increased the perplexity. Laschet first speaks in detail about the fact that the Union’s preliminary soundings were good and constructive, that he continues to stand up for Jamaica, that the Union does not close any doors. “Jamaica is the chance for a real departure in our country,” says Laschet, “Jamaica would be an ambitious modernization alliance with broad social roots.” All of this is in stark contrast to everything what his opponent Markus Söder had announced the day before in Munich.

But Laschet just keeps going. If the FDP and the Greens are about to break new ground, “the SPD is the wrong partner”, he continues the election campaign, only that he no longer campaigns for votes, but vies for two parties. “The offer of the CDU of Germany stands until the last second of the formation of a government.” Is that the “self-respect and dignity” that Söder spoke of on Wednesday?

Laschet then lists FDP positions which, in his view, are completely incompatible with the SPD’s program, from the abolition of the solidarity surcharge to “employee participation, for example in start-ups, a very important question for the start-up culture and start-up -up scene “, undoubtedly an important question, but at the moment it is of secondary importance, especially since most of the points mentioned by Laschet are also disputed between the Union and the Greens, and, see above, they would also be needed for Jamaica.

And while Laschet speaks like this, a question arises: What is happening here, which reality is it supposed to represent? Of course, it is absolutely possible for the traffic light to fail, of course Jamaica is not finally off the table, because who can foresee what else will happen. But now and here to advertise for the FDP and the Greens goes far beyond the news situation.

It seems as if Laschet believes what he is saying

Then Laschet quotes “this saying”, first the country, then the party, then the person. “One could prove that on the subject. Where is the greatest stability possible? And we signal to the FDP and the Greens: The CDU chairman remains the contact for the CDU, for that I have the backing of the party and parliamentary group.” I’m sorry, what? Didn’t he want to offer his resignation? Laschet does this in the same breath. “It will not fail at the point of contact when you start a new project.” Already in the talks with the FDP and the Greens he made it clear that it was “not about the person Armin Laschet”. Other solutions are possible. “The great Jamaica project will not fail because of its staff.” From the point of view of his critics, this is the redeeming sentence. Laschet offers himself as a victim. Just who

It actually seems as if the CDU chairman believes what he is saying. As if he were convinced that his departure could be an argument for the FDP and the Greens to join a Jamaica government. The opposite is likely to be the case: It is the Union, it is the CDU and CSU, who question their candidate for chancellor, already in the election campaign, and more and more massive since the election. The FDP and the Greens are likely to be wondering who could still speak reliably for the Union.

Especially since Laschet then speaks about the fact that the reorganization of the CDU must be pushed forward. General Secretary Paul Ziemiak has already initiated a corresponding process, there should be an Eastern conference in November, a district chairperson conference in December, and there should be a commission to analyze what “went wrong in recent years”. There should also be a party congress. Laschet says he wants to “moderate” the process in order to come to a broad consensus on his own successor. “Can’t we succeed this time in finding a common solution for the line-up in the opposition?” Asks Laschet. He says “opposition”, not “opposition or government”. The question sounds bitter.

Because precisely this consensus was already the goal of his predecessor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer – with the result that the internal party dispute only intensified. The man, who at the time was just as unwilling to give up as Laschet himself, is already getting back into position. “Armin Laschet is clearing the way for the CDU to start over today,” tweeted Friedrich Merz. “For this he deserves respect, thanks and great recognition. I will do my best to find an amicable way to achieve this, which is also approved by our members.”

Conclusion, in one sentence: The CDU is back where it was in 2018 when Angela Merkel announced her withdrawal – only much weaker, even more divided and probably without the unifying bond of government discipline. Soon it can really only get better.