Despite its efforts at maintaining respectability, the party's extremist flank is wide open.
The party's national leadership came together for a long-planned conference call at a.m.
last Tuesday, but before they began working through their agenda, talk turned to Petry's leadership. "What about the word 'shit' is difficult to understand? The tribunal lasted for half an hour and virtually every board member had something negative to say about the Af D leader.
A Dangerous Party Volker Kauder, parliamentary floor leader for Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), commented that Petry's utterances exposed "the true face of the Af D leadership." But there are apparently many in Germany who find that true face appealing -- whether openly or not -- and are prepared to vote for people like Petry.
Were Petry's colleagues as upset as the so-called establishment parties, who doubted that the Af D, to quote Social Democratic Party (SPD) head Sigmar Gabriel, "remained committed to the country's free-democratic foundations? Most of the board members were more concerned about Petry's tactical error: Both her disclosure of the Af D's true attitudes and the timing of that disclosure.
Petry, after all, had violated the right-wing populist formula for success.