I am not certain what it means that George Will chose to use his column in the Washington Post this morning to endorse the libertarian candidate for governor in Virginia. Robert Sarvis has some things to recommend him, surely, but he was recently excluded from a debate because he hasn’t been cracking the 10% requirement in the aggregate of recent polls.
I understand Mr. Will’s reasoning insofar as he explained it. A protest third-party vote today could condition Virginians for a successful third-party vote a few years down the line.
Still, I think it’s significant that George Will has so little regard for the Virginia Republican Party that he’s willing to cross them in this manner on the eve of the election. To be clear, even if Cuccinelli is a lost cause, there are many other offices on the ballot, including Attorney General. Encouraging Republicans not to vote for the head of the ticket could contribute to bigger losses further down the ticket, and there are a lot of people in Virginia, some of whom are undoubtedly well-known to Mr. Will, who are going to be furious with him this morning.
The way Mr. Will argued his case, his main beef appears to be Cooch’s social conservatism, particularly with regard to gay marriage. I suppose this sentiment is sincerely felt, but it does outline a significant rift in the party that is probably part of a more general rift between southern and northern Virginia Republicans.
One thing is crystal clear. Mr. Will does not think Cuccinelli will win and he therefore has no fear of angering him.