Lesser Evil

Salon.com | Right Hook, 2004-07-07

Jacob Levy, a political science professor at the University of Chicago and contributor to the Volokh Conspiracy blog, argued in May that the Bush camp was in “bafflingly deep denial” about losing Libertarian swing voters in ’04. He says that Edwards for veep makes the Kerry ticket a lock for him, in light of the Bush administration’s exceptional incompetence in policymaking. (Note to New York Post: Levy also says that a Gephardt pick would’ve been a Kerry deal-breaker for him.)

“This is really the first presidential race of my adult life in which I’ve had a very strong commitment about which major-party candidate was the lesser evil. I’ve had leanings in previous races, but they were uncertain, and typically mitigated by a sense that both major-party candidates had crossed some threshold of unacceptability. This time, it seems very clear to me that the Bush Administration has failed basic tests of competence in policymaking and execution, and of trusteeship of long-term interests like alliances and trade negotiations and moral credibility. I expect to dislike an awful lot of John Kerry’s policies. But I don’t expect that kind of failure of the basic responsibilities of the office. Four or eight or twelve years ago, I guess I wouldn’t have known how important I found those considerations, as I hadn’t seen a president who had failed along those dimensions. Now I have, and I do.”