Yesterday at the New York Meeting, a gathering of conservatives in New York, Haley Barbour said the GOP's goal should not be purity. He also praised Eric Cantor.
There is a great disconnect in the political press and among politicians like Haley Barbour over the endgame of conservatives in America. It is not actually about purity for the sake of purity. It never has been. What it has been about is getting people into office who mean what they say and say what they mean. It has, in other words, been about putting men and women in office who put principle about profit.
And frankly, for all the attacks on Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and outside groups — what it really amounts to is guys like Haley Barbour and others have chosen profit over principle and they do not get those of us who want principles first.
Conservatives understand we will not win every race and we understand we cannot win in every district. But we also understand that Ted Cruz and Mike Lee and Rand Paul and Jim Bridenstine and Raul Labrador and Marlin Stutzman and all the others are putting their principles ahead of lobbyist dollars.
Haley Barbour, like so many before and after him, is a lobbyist. Principle hurts his bottom line. He has to find some way to sell his ideas so those he advocates for can get their agenda through Congress. That leaves guys like Cruz spending most of their time saying "No." In the "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" world of Washington, principle manifests itself most often by the word "no".
Certainly conservatives want conservatives in Congress. We want, where we can get them, better conservatives. But what we want most, and the reason we are fighting so hard in primaries, is because we keep seeing so called conservatives go to Washington then settle for a price at the expense of their principles.
And the price that turns the profit is always making Washington work for some large donor or client writing checks somewhere, which in turn means Washington is never leaving us the hell alone. That, again, is why it is so crucial we get people like Chris McDaniel to Washington. It is also why so many in Mississippi and Washington are opposed to McDaniel. He, like Cruz and Lee, will go for principle over profit. He won't be bought.