Fair enough — but doesn’t it also say something similar about Paul and what he’s willing to do to win?
Much of Paul’s appeal to his base is their belief that he is the rare politician who sticks to his principles and refuses to compromise. Many of them aren’t happy Paul warmed up to McConnell and endorsed his re-election. They reacted angrily when Paul seemed willing to back immigration reform, forcing Paul to backtrack on an issue he sees as important to widening his and his party’s appeal.
Most Paul supporters have rationalized those maneuvers as necessary evils in pursuit of the greater goal of electing Paul president and fulfilling their dreams for a second American revolution.
But some of them openly ask why Paul cozies up to McConnell and appears to be trying to moderate his image on issues like immigration.
Remember, Benton isn’t just any hired political gun. He’s family. He wouldn’t have taken the job with McConnell without the blessing of both Ron and Rand Paul. His statement on the recording shows Paul’s future, not McConnell’s, is Benton’s first priority.
So how difficult is it to go from believing Benton really is holding his nose to wondering if perhaps Paul must be holding his?
If the alliance with McConnell is noxious enough that Paul and his family must hold their noses, then how much different is Paul from McConnell, who the tea party soldiers believe will sell out principle to advance his personal agenda to attain power?
If Benton’s recorded comment shatters the façade that McConnell has won over the tea party, doesn’t it also put a crack in the image that Rand Paul never compromises his tea party principles?
Paul must be hoping some of his supporters are willing to hold their noses, too.
Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at email@example.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.