Conservative leader Paul Weyrich, who died Thursday, was a man of clear principles who uniquely understood politics and its imperfect practitioners in Washington, D.C. One of the founders of the Moral Majority, Weyrich, 66, was a North Star for social conservatives. Through his written commentaries, radio and television shows and the non-profit Free Congress Foundation, Weyrich helped guide conservative policy formation for more than three decades, usually from the grassroots up. His weekly, off-the-record policy luncheon was attended by members of Congress — Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, has represented Senate Republicans there for a number of years — and presidential administrations alike. There, the holders of governmental power sounded out key constituencies on items ranging from taxes and spending to conscience issues. Weyrich was a sharp analyst who had little patience with wishy-washy politicians or the horse-trading that typifies business in the nation’s capital. He was about political activism and fighting for principle — which he did to the end, authoring an op-ed column on conservatism’s future course the day before his death. Paul Weyrich’s passing leaves a large void in the conservative movement.