But apparently, he WASN'T "conservative" enough for manyRepublicans in Texas. Over the past few weeks, Tea Party activists floated the idea of replacing Cornyn with David Barton, the evangelical activist who has done more than anyone else to advance the "Christian Nation" myth. Although Barton withdrew his name from consideration Wednesday, Glen Beck (among others) is still holding out hope that a "true conservative" might step in to take down the perfidious Cornyn.
The fact that this kind of discussion is even taking place helps put to rest two very common misperceptions about the right wing of the Republican party. The first is that the Tea Party is primarily about fiscal and economic issues. It is not; it is also about religion.
The second misperception that Barton's abortive candidacy exposed is that the Tea Party is a conservative and patriotic force in American politics. In fact, it is a radical movement that seeks to destroy our present system of government. There is nothing comparable to it on the left or the right in American politics.
Let's take a closer look at what David Barton really stands for. He presents himself as a historian, but by now, no serious person can buy that characterization. His most recent book, The Jefferson Lies, turns out to have been filled with distortions of the actual facts. The book came under criticism from numerous conservative Christians – most notably, Grove City College professors Michael Coulter and Warren Throckmorton, who published a detailed refutation of the book titledGetting Jefferson Right: Fact-Checking Claims about our Third President. In August 2012, Barton's Christian publishing house, Thomas Nelson, stopped production of the tome, announcing that they had "lost confidence in the book's details".
But the facts have never stood in the way of Barton's "history", because the history merely serves as a platform for more ambitious goals.