Wow, FDP totally skunked. Things would have been different if Thomas had been there to help.
The FDP leadership, for reasons best known to itself, has purged its ranks from most members who were liberal in any sense that Wilhelm Humboldt, John-Stuart Mill, or Theodor Heuß would recognize. It wouldn't have wanted my help.
One of the more frustrating things yesterday evening was to watch a talkshow in which one of the interviewees was Gerhardt Baum. Baum is a lawyer by training, a veteran of the Schmidt administration (his highest rank was minister of the interior), a staunch civil libertarian --- and, as far as active politics is concerned, history. The FDP would be a better party with Gerhard Baum as its leader, but with Baum being 81, that's not going to happen.
And that's a shame, because Germans want
to vote for a party of the kind the FDP used to be in the 1970s. There's plenty of Germans who want their privacy protected against the NSA and the BND, but they vote for the Pirates or the Greens now. There are plenty of Germans who oppose crazy macroeconomic experiments like the Euro, but they voted for Alternative für Deutschland
, a new party with a one-plank platform, the abolition of the Euro. And I can't even blame voters for behaving this way because the only thing Germans got from the FDP were tax breaks for hotel owners. (Why hotel owners, of all people? Good question. I have no idea, and I'm not sure if I even want one.)