Leaving the Greens: a border crosser crashes: Boris Palmer is a provocateur who can't control himself

Suffering from each other is over: Boris Palmer is leaving the Greens.

Leaving the Greens: a border crosser crashes: Boris Palmer is a provocateur who can't control himself

Suffering from each other is over: Boris Palmer is leaving the Greens. The majority of the party should be happy about this, because they have long been ashamed of the troublemaker from Tübingen. But Palmer will not be missing anything either, it has long been its own brand. Remaining with the Greens - which has been a dormant membership for a year anyway - still secured him a little more attention. But when he ends the break he has now planned, he will be invited back to talk shows and podiums, even without a party membership.

Boris Palmer is the classic case of a wanton border crosser. He loves provocation, but always creates it in such a way that he can say afterwards that he meant it quite differently, if in doubt ironically. On the one hand, he spoke his way into the hearts of the talk show makers and discussion group organizers who love clear edges, and on the other hand he relied on the misunderstanding as a lifebelt that always kept him afloat in the media storms. In this way, Palmer has become the personified epitome of a culture of debate that demands attention with excitement, only to be outraged at those who have gone off the rails.

But Boris Palmer is also the classic case of a provocateur who cannot control himself. He expects others to withstand his provocations, but reacts cholerically when provoked himself. In Frankfurt he was insulted by some idiots because of his use of the so-called N-word as a Nazi and defended himself with a horrible comparison to the Jewish star. This confrontation was extreme, but also exemplary for Palmer's short fuse.

It's respectable that Palmer didn't even bother to make excuses this time. A Jewish star comparison does not lend itself to irony. Even he understood that immediately. Palmer has tried to explain his freak out with his family background, which is understandable but unapologetic. It was perhaps one of Palmer's biggest problems in recent years that he liked to refer to a kind of genetic resilience: His father Helmut Palmer was famous throughout Baden-Württemberg as the "Remstal rebel", protested in idiosyncratic forms and often ran for election for mayoral offices or municipal council mandates, but never really held political responsibility. That's what separates Boris Palmer from his father. A mayor can only be a rebel to a very limited extent.

Nevertheless, over the years, Palmer has been seduced by the big stage, on which he has too often presented himself as a stage pig. That big stage that he never got on as a politician, because with every new provocation, offices for which he would have been predestined as mayor receded further and further, for example succeeding Winfried Kretschmann as Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg.

Because that is also part of Palmer as a person: he is one of the most successful politicians the Greens have ever had. Despite all the challenges, he was re-elected mayor of Tübingen in autumn 2022 with an absolute majority.

That is why one of the pitfalls of leaving the party for the Greens is that Palmer is leaving at an unfavorable time for them because he is revealing some of the problems facing the big Greens: Palmer is seen as controversial, but also as a politician who solves problems, from energy - to the Corona policy. Robert Habeck, Vice-Chancellor, Economics Minister and model greener in Berlin, is increasingly proving to be a politician who creates new problems with every attempt to solve a problem.

Palmer is successful in small Tübingen as a kind of one-man people's party, while the Greens in the federal government once again have to fear that they will once again act as a niche party after participating in the government. Therefore, many may now be relieved that Green and Palmer are going their separate ways. But they could have achieved more if they had pulled themselves together at some point in the past.