Last weekend, German Chancellor Angela Merkel won re-election in Germany. Germany has now gone to the center-right in politics, abandoning the Social Democratic Party (SPD). The SPD only won 23.5 percent of the vote, the worst numbers since World War II.
Merkel is of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and along with its partner, the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), their total percentage of the vote was 34 percent. So, combining a coalition government of CDU and CSU, along with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), the ruling percentage is at 49 percent.
Merkel is a business friendly leader and ran on a platform of cutting personal taxes to a level of 35 percent. The U.S., going in the opposite direction with the Obama administration will be at 39 percent again after they allow the Bush tax cuts to expire in 2011. Also, despite the SPD using the war in Afghanistan as a way to try to garner votes, they were unsuccessful in that effort. And, even with the potential of terrorist attacks - as proclaimed by bin Laden just before the voting got underway - the German voters stepped up and carried on. They did not behave as the Spanish did in 2004.
Merkel is shifting German economic policy to the right, but gradually. She is smart enough to build her coalitions and listen to the citizens. She promises to simplify the tax code, and she also wants to extend the use of Germany's nuclear power plants, formerly ordered closed by 2021. She is going the common sense way of reducing governmental interference in the economy and encouraging privatizations.
Team Obama would do well to notice the newly emerging Europe, especially as the Democrats love to proclaim the sophistication and superior intellect of the Europeans to the American voter.
At the U.N. Assembly last week, Obama proclaimed "no nation can or should try to dominate another." He boasts about turning the U.S. foreign policy around, going beyond the pale to separate himself from President G.W. Bush. Ironic, considering all of the foreign policy decisions Obama has made which are continuances of the Bush Doctrine.
As Obama chaired the Security Council, we were told of the "historic" level of the event. Truth be known, other Presidents have chosen to bypass the hypocrisy of the council - with the presence of some of the world's worst characters on board. Something not reported much - surprise! - was the schooling French President Sarkozy gave to Obama, in his speech. It went like this:
"We are here to guarantee peace. We are right to talk about the future. But the present comes before the future, and the present includes two major nuclear crises. The peoples of the entire world are listening to what we are saying, including our promises, commitments and speeches. But we lie in the real world, not in a virtual one. We say we must reduce. President Obama himself has said that he dreams of a world without nuclear weapons. Before our very eyes, two countries are doing exactly the opposite at this very moment. Since 2005, Iran has violated five Security Council Resolutions. I support America's extended hand. But what have these proposals for dialogue produced for the international community? Nothing but more enriched uranium and more centrifuges. And last but not least, it has resulted in a statement by Iranian leaders calling for wiping off the map a Member of the United Nations. What are we to do? What conclusion are we to draw? At a certain moment hard facts will force us to take decisions." From there he went on to talk of North Korea, violating Security Council decisions since 1993.
Team Obama has proclaimed nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament as their calling on the world stage. He did so again in the presence of the worst actors in the world. And, of course, by disarmament he means, the U.S. should lead the way. It all plays into his world apology tour. Team Obama has a strange idea that it is productive to embrace our foes while shoving to the side our friends.
As Europe abandons 40 years of the march to socialist ideas in action and appeasing brutal dictators, President Obama is only too eager to go the opposite way with America. He is out of step with the world. Time for him to accept some of those hard facts Sarkozy warned of.