John Cornyn is a pretty good senator, but to many conservatives, Cornyn represents a Republican establishment that disdains the Tea Party and cares little for principle. That's because Cornyn, as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, decided to get involved in the Florida Senate primary last cycle, backing liberal Gov. Charlie Crist over conservative Marco Rubio.

It was extraordinary for the NRSC to get involved in a primary, especially siding against an electable conservative. It set off 18 months of Tea Party-vs-Establishment battles.

That's why it's a bit rich for Cornyn to criticize Jim DeMint's entry into the open-seat contest set up by the retirement of Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Hotline reports:

NRSC Chair John Cornyn (R-Texas) jokingly dismissed Sen. Jim DeMint's influence in his home-state Friday, after the South Carolina conservative weighed in on potential successors to retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) "Is that guy from Texas?" Cornyn said, after asked about DeMint's involvement.

To look on the bright side, maybe Cornyn has learned his lesson. The blog post continues:

"I'm certainly not going to weigh in or try to steer anybody in any particular direction. That's what the primary campaign is for," Cornyn added. "I just don't think these kinds of endorsements have that big of an impact. People want to jealously guard their prerogative to cast their vote, especially people who are living in that state. They don't want to delegate that authority or responsibility to someone else."