George Will Overhypes Robert Sarvis

The Washington Post has carried another flow piece on Libertarians.  Unlike articles like this or this the Post was able to get veteran columnist George Will to lay it on this time.  Will’s piece looks at Libertarian Robert Sarvis who is running for Governor in Virginia.

How much does Will lay it on?  He even compares Sarvis to William F. Buckley’s campaign for New York City mayor in 1965 saying:

William Buckley won only 13.4 percent of the 1965 mayoralty vote, but he energized a growing constituency and legitimized the practice of voting outside the confines of traditional political choices. Five years later, the New York Conservative Party’s U.S. Senate candidate — Buckley’s brother Jim — was elected with 38.8 percent of the vote in a three-way race.

Is the implication that Sarvis will plant the seeds of a Libertarian or similar third party candidate to win in Virginia eventually?

This seems as likely as Will’s beloved Chicago Cubs winning the World Series next year.  Had either party put up someone else (Bill Bolling for the GOP or Chap Petersen for the Democrats) Sarvis wouldn’t even be a blip on the radar screen.  Faced with those other choices the dissatisfied Republicans who are most of Sarvis’s  supporters would be firmly in the camp of either Bolling or Petersen.

If Will really wanted to say something interesting about Virginia he could talk about how one party uses less than 10,000 people to pick their nominees for statewide office and the other party, at least temporarily, seems to have a pretty weak bench.  Keeping in mind of course that these are political parties in what is now a very competitive Presidential swing state.

All in all, aside from getting kicked off the Cuccinelli-family Christmas card list I really don’t see the point of Will’s piece.


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