Just as its energy dependence on Russia cannot be reversed overnight, decades of drift into quasi-pacifism reflect a deeply embedded outlook.
Political popularity appears to be broad and sustained but, when eventually it is exhausted, the falling away of support is dramatic.
It is worth noting the lack of a German, and therefore European, consensus on the foreign policy challenges facing the West, particularly on Russia and China.
The front-runner to succeed Merkel has perfected the art of making not having a row, indeed not making a decision, sound reasonable.
Merkel’s sixteen years are marked by high poll ratings but few concrete achievements, and a discreditable closeness to dictators.
By uniting behind Johnson’s plan, and replicating the approach of these two mayors, the the environment can become a winning issue for the party.
It despises the very values of patriotism and economic self-improvement that made people like my grandparents vote for them.
And if Germany’s Greens are in government after the federal election, they will be inclined to help him.
A traffic light coalition? A Jamaica coalition? Who knows? What’s certain is that the CDU/CSU is struggling amidst a fragmenting landscape.
A Green Minister-President has governed Baden-Württemberg in coalition with the CDU for more than a decade, implementing a pro-business agenda.
The commonsense presumption must be that he wouldn’t be going at all were a deal not at least possible.
The political foundations of other centre-right governments around the world wield significant influence and are powerful tools for foreign policy.
EU federalism will be stronger in Britain, as rules are simply imposed on you. And stronger in the rest of Europe – because you’re leaving us.
What would the lesser men who would bring her down have done: put migrants on sealed trains in their tens of thousands and send them – where, exactly?