New bundestag: dear afd, you are so cringe! – mps deny 3g rule

The new Bundestag met for the first time on Tuesday. However, of the 736 newly elected MPs, 23 AfD politicians were not sitting in the plenary chamber, but had to watch from the stands. The reason: the trio refused to comply with the House’s 3G rules and were therefore physically separated from the rest of the parliament – including their party colleagues – and banished to the back of the chamber. AfD MPs were sorted out for hygiene reasons.

And so they sat there like defiant children who have successfully rebelled against their parents and understood their punishment as a reward, without masks but at a distance, because Wolfgang Schauble (CDU), the president of the Bundestag who was replaced today, did not want anyone who had not been vaccinated, recovered or tested in the packed plenary hall.

One of the heroic 23 wore a sticker with the inscription "not vaccinated" and "Umbrella" during the meeting. Congratulations.

Who wondered yesterday still, what it with "cringe", the just awarded youth word 2021, gets here a perfect illustration example. More cringe does not go.

As expected as such a maneuver was, it hurts to watch it happen. Clearly: the grandstand photo supports the narrative of the AfD as a "thorn in the flesh of the legacy parties". They can once again prove to their followers that they are politically isolated and marginalized by the other factions. Accordingly, the Bundestag revolters diligently shared the evidence of their selfless revolt on social media.

The cringe button as meme. (Source: Open Source/Getty Images)

Fundamental opposition as caricature

But the maneuver is one thing above all: unmasking. If elected representatives are not even able to adhere to basic hygiene rules in the heart of democracy during a pandemic that is still not over, then this gives a deep insight. Instead of meeting the parliamentary business with respect and dignity on their first day of work, the AfD deputies preferred to play party political games.

It is precisely not a constructive collaboration on a new Corona policy that is just taking shape and that legitimately includes relaxations or demands for a "Freedom Day" can include. What the 23 AfD renegades staged today is rather pseudo-anti-system posturing, a mere proof of work for their own bubble. Fundamental opposition as caricature.

And if now the deputy Malte Kaufmann indignantly notes that also the traffic light after the expiry of the "epidemic situation" wants to stick to Corona rules, and now takes this as justification for the sad grandstand spectacle, one has to ask: Where in, Kaufmann believes, was he elected? to the carnival club?

Those who confuse childish showmanship for social media with parliamentary work may soon be more concerned with explaining to their constituents what they do with their lavish parliamentary diets all day long, other than getting into cringy situations and taking pictures of themselves doing it too.

Do the 23 revolucers even want an end to the pandemic?

What seems to be of equally little interest to the AfD’s maverick faction is the fact that the pandemic – as the examples of Denmark and Portugal show – could be over much more quickly if more people were to get vaccinated. Not by pressure as in the Kimmich debate, but by persuasion, education and the better arguments. There are still 26 million unvaccinated people in Germany and by no means all of them are fundamental refuseniks.

The 23 William Wallace wannabes are doing exactly the opposite: they are stirring up fears about safe vaccines that have been recommended by the Standing Commission on Vaccination, approved by the authorities and vaccinated billions of times worldwide. They do this not because they could justify it particularly well, but because it benefits them politically.

Instead of taking the skepticism of the unvaccinated seriously and educating them, the concerns are exploited, ammunitioned by conspiracy ideology, and ennobled into an act of political resistance. The AfD nourishes superstition, it feeds on it. At least the parts of the party that see themselves as the parliamentary arm of the "lateral thinkers" see.

Just knock one out

At all is not at all clear, against whom the protest was actually directed. The 20. German Bundestag, which met for the first time on Tuesday, has not yet passed any laws at all and will probably also the Corona exception, the "epidemic situation of national scope" do not extend. As of today, the Merkel government will also be history by December at the latest.

It’s as if the grade 7f rage clique boycotted the first class after summer vacation to protest last school year’s math curriculum. Makes noise, but accomplishes nothing.

The intention, it seemed, was simply to have a bash. Incidentally, the fact that the majority of the AfD faction adhered to the 3G rule and allowed the 23 to go into exile alone says quite a bit about the unity of the new AfD force in parliament.

  • 3G rule denied:AfD politicians banished to stands
  • New presidency:Bundestag elects five deputies – AfD candidate flunks out
  • "Let this be your example?":Nazi comparison in the Bundestag causes a stir

A chance for the FDP?

This does not bode well for the legislative session now beginning. If the AfD’s maverick faction continues to misuse the parliamentary stage for political games, the Bundestag is in for troubled times.

Only for the FDP does an opportunity open up out of nowhere: the Liberals previously tried in vain to change the seating arrangement in the Bundestag so as not to sit next to the AfD faction again. If the remaining AfD deputies were to follow the example of the 23 and take their seats in the gallery in the future, the FDP’s seating problem would have solved itself.

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