Principles are very important. Right now politics is in command with attacks flying everywhere and especially on blogs like this one.
I'm analyzing while realizing the situation conservatives are in.
Right now we lack a dynamic leader who articulates conservative principle consistently in a way that trumps the liberal media and can win an election.
Rush has said this many times: our side is looking for ANYONE who will step up and be a leader. Even if he only leads on the 30% of the things we agree on, if he beats the Dems and jerks their leash on those issues while ignoring the others, he will have the OVERWHELMING support of the conservative voters.
So far, Rudy has not done that satisfactorily, and Romney completely whiffed on the Ann Coulter thing. But mark my words on this: whoever establishes himself as a "lead dog" willing to fight the Dems on SOME issues---ANY issues---and make them submissive will get the all the support in the world, regardless of his positions on some or even many issues.