I'll pay the whole lease on an empty house if I have to.
You won't have to. The KY landlord tenant statute requires the landlord to mitigate by re-renting as soon as reasonably possible (338.670). Depending on the rental market that could be a couple of weeks to a couple of months. If the landlord fails to mitigate and sues for more than the reasonable amount of rent, you get to raise lack of mitigation as a defense.
More than anything I am looking for a bargaining chip
You don't have any. Other than offering cash to buy your way out.
Here's the exact language from the contract, with the name redacted:
"This contract is for use by REDACTED. Use by any other party is illegal and voids the contract."
That condition has no more legal effect on the contract than a requirement that the signers wear green socks.
I suppose my disconnect with all of this is that a significant contract condition, clearly articulated in the document, being arbitrarily struck by the court. That seems capricious and odd to me.
That's an emotional reaction because you are annoyed that the one thing you think might get you out of the lease isn't going to get you out of the lease. In other words, clutching at straws. It would be neither arbitrary nor capricious for a judge to strike that sentence and enforce the rest of the contract regardless of how clearly articulated or prominently placed it is.
it was never my intent to sign a two year lease. But I did.
On the contrary, it WAS your intent to sign a two year contract because you DID sign a two year contract. Once you signed it, it became your intent.
Iit was never the landlord's intent to leave voiding language on the contract. But he did. Why should one be enforced and not the other?
One is an integral part of the contract and a major condition: two years.
The other is an inadvertent error that has no effect on the other terms and conditions of the contract.
That's what the difference is and that's what is likely to happen in court.
However, whether or not you can successfully use that issue as leverage in your negotiations with the landlord depends on how dumb the landlord is. You can certainly try it and see how it goes.