The third way…

In politics, you can’t lead (govern) if you don’t win. That axiom is rather more complicated than it appears because “winning” doesn’t necessarily mean just winning elective office. A third party can win by making another party lose if that suits its goals. This is the situation that Howard Kurtz considers today. But I find his attitude troubling:

To the uninitiated, libertarians are just faux Repubs, another branch of the feuding conservative family. But that fails to capture the leave-me-alone, pox-on-both-houses ethos of those who flock to the libertarian banner.

Such a characterization fails in many more ways, too. For example, it’s snarky simplicity is unworthy of serious consideration. But this is a typical establishment attitude. It appears we may have entered an era of tight elections in which winning, for the establishment parties, means employing a strategy of discrediting third parties. Kurtz is helping that effort.