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.