A coalition is like a parallelogram of forces. And this coalition, the incumbent one, has to be very careful that some things don’t shift or are even canceled at one point, so that everything gets mixed up. Who protects them from danger?

For a moment or two it seemed as if it was the vice chancellor – not the chancellor, mind you – who holds everything together, calms down, stabilizes and also leads with ideas from crises, both internal and external. What is meant is Robert Habeck, the man with the gift of being an authentic politician.

A talent that Olaf Scholz does not have in this way and Annalena Baerbock in moderation, only to the extent that her will to power shines through too much.

Now, the will to power is certainly not what matters at the moment. Not in the face of a partner, the smaller one, the FDP, which is becoming really difficult to deal with after the poor election results in the federal states.

And in almost every important question, whether Corona or tank discount. Anyone who doesn’t respond to the FDP in this situation, criticizes them too harshly, risks the coalition disappearing. It becomes an act of political prudence not to let any failure be associated with it under any circumstances.

Now Robert Habeck is a philosopher, but he uses it in a very practical way. On the one hand and on the other hand: He doesn’t want to let the brute forces act senselessly and counteract them. But also make it clear who is responsible for the fragile state of the traffic light – not its green ones.

The traffic light coalition in a slight imbalance: the vice chancellor complains, but not in such a way that the parallelogram of forces flies in his face. But then he says he doesn’t care who is responsible for the controversial fuel discount within the government alliance. That doesn’t go any further either.

At the same time, however, he wants to state that this tax cut was never what the Greens wanted, there were enough warning voices. And it was also an “invitation to a raid”.

What follows from this now? “If a not-so-good idea goes badly, then of course you still have to help.” For Habeck, it’s about looking “forward”. That can also shift the weights. Because he “does not want to be maneuvered into complete helplessness”. Wants to take responsibility “to make the mess a little less big,” says the Vice Chancellor.

strong words. By which he will be measured. Hence his plans with the Cartel Office, which should be given more opportunities to intervene, for example to be able to take action against oil companies if they benefit from the tank discount so much more than the consumers, the drivers.

“Politics is not as defenseless as one sometimes thinks.” A sentence from Habeck, very practical in the matter, on the one hand and on the other hand: It applies to him as well as to the coalition. Both have to stay in balance.