As governor, Barbour was able to instill a strong party discipline and demanded loyalty on several key issues. This was mainly done through political strength. He was often criticized as demanding a certain level of “purity” from lawmakers, but it was largely kept to key votes.
Democrats have recently struggled with “purity” issues as well. Some state Democratic leaders’ continued demand for lock-step allegiance to long – and sometimes evolving – list of “principles” has cost them both grassroots workers who have found other ways to exercise their desire for public service and several party-switchers at all levels of government.
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