Onten und uben
The first sentence of the author's musings tells us that there will be wordplay:
In dem Maße, in dem in der Politik die Unterschiede zwischen rinks und
lechts und zoran und vurück verwischen, gewinnt ein anderes
Gegensatzpaar an Bedeutung: oben und unten.
There is a cultural background for this that nearly everyone who went to secondary school in Germany and was not asleep in German class knows well. It is the 1966 poem lichtung by Austrian neo-dadaist poet Ernst Jandl. Often classified as concrete poetry, Jandl's absurdist writing is playfully self-referential, using a "home truth" such as "left is left and right is right" and twisting it into its own negation:
lechts und rinks kann man nicht velwechsern.
There are potentially many layers of Western thought alluded to by Jandl's poem, including the Cretan liar paradox, but it also specifically attacks Left vs. Right thinking in politics: Why, the poem asks, do people reflexively evaluate every statement with a political context according to this primitive dichotomy?
And since the column* is about the language of politics, that makes the implicit reference to Jandl's poem a good choice. The idea of left-right switching is extended to the vanitas theme of top-bottom (or should I say bop-tottom) reversal.
This is not the only allusion, however. The "elevator of a tabloid newspaper turning into an elevator to the gallows" refers to the rise and downfall of former German Bundespräsident Christian Wulff. Germany's BILD Zeitung, an amalgam of The Sun, the New York Post and National Enquirer, had been an ardent booster of Wulff's career but was ruthless when breaking news of his possible shady dealings. An infamous quote from BILD's editor-in-chief is that people who "invite the press to join them on their elevator ride to the top must not lock them out on their way back down".
Sie wollen uns glauben machen
is no more a triple infinitive than
They want to make us believe
is. Third person plural (sie wollen; they want) just happens to be spelled the same as the infinitive.
*The latest installment in Fraktur - die Sprachglosse, a regular column that shines a light on the sometimes hair-raising, sometimes hilarious contortions imposed on the German language by (mostly) politicans. Fraktur reden, by the way, is an idiomatic expression meaning "to speak bluntly" or "to be brutally honest". Fraktur is black-letter type such as ℜ and it also is the word for (bone) fracture. Think of the column as F.A.Z.'s answer to William Safire's On Language, only a few decades late.