Republican Representative Peter King, R-NY, said this week, "We have to anticipate Ted Cruz is going to try to do this again. Ted Cruz and 30 or 40 people in the House. We have to start going after him by name. I've been doing it all along. I wish I had more company on it."
People supposedly in the same camp attacking their own. Not a new concept, but always disturbing.
If Mr. King has been attacking Mr. Cruz all along, by name, his results have not been stellar.
Cruz is on the rise among conservatives, because he is leading. And he actually believes in something.
Leadership is always lonely---and it always carries a personal cost. Leadership is not "risk free."
Perhaps this is why some---pastors and politicians, sometimes choose not to lead on the most important moral issues. It can be shattering to a comfort zone.
Leaders generally expect those on the other side to attempt to bring them down; it stings when those who claim to be on the same side attempt to do so. I've been there.
King told the press, "We just can't have Republicans or Ted Cruz second guessing the final outcome of this current stalemate."
Based on recent performances by the Party, unfortunately one doesn't need to second guess the outcome. It's been very consistent.
Leadership that is more pragmatic than principled, but claiming to be principled, isn't winning. And it won't win in the future.
In 2012, 54% of Republicans believed their Party had a plan. This week, a Rasmuessen survey found that only 34% of likely GOP voters believe the Party has a plan. That's 20 points down in 12 months.
It isn't merely the lack of a plan that is so disturbing, it's the lack of leadership.
And if you think Mr. King is trying to bully Cruz for showing some leadership, look what a Republican columnist is saying in the Washington Post.
While King is asking Republicans to call out Cruz by name when attacking him, Kathleen Parker, a Republican, at least in name, is calling Senator Cruz "Ted bin Laden" in the Washington Post.
She compares the war within the Republican Party to that of the Corleone mafia family.
While she is critical of the GOP, she is hypercritical of Senator Cruz. And she labels the "Tea Party followers" as people "who would rather die on principle than live to win a later day."
Perhaps that speaks to the heart of the GOP problem.
When process becomes more important than principle, purpose is lost and there is a leadership vacuum. Is mere winning enough? Shouldn't there be actual reasons to win?
And Ms. Parker, this is that "later day."
How many "moderate" non-leaders should the GOP trot out for a presidential election? I'm thinking of the list in recent years. All predictable, pragmatic, moderates who are willing to "win at another time" over taking bold principled leadership positions---with conviction.
Washington State GOP is a leader in this category.
The state party regularly produces "moderate" candidates who will "appeal" to moderate Democrats and independents and asks the conservatives and people of faith in the GOP to set aside their deeply held principles and vote for the candidate, even though he does not hold those values and says so publicly.
The election motto to the conservative and faith community then becomes, "Vote for our guy, he's not as bad as the other guy."
This episode repeats itself like a television re-run. Sometimes the actors change. Sometimes not. The plot is always the same. So is the last scene on election night.
While the state party declines to support highly qualified conservative candidates "because they can't win," they continue the bi-annual "festival of fiasco" putting money behind moderates who are willing to "win at another time."
And conservatives and people of faith are told to set aside their, "I would rather die on principle than win another day" notion.
We are asked to put aside our deeply held values and principles on marriage, family and the sanctity of life---so the Party can win.
"Moderate" to left leaning Republican consultants are telling the Party leaders this, while making millions of dollars in consulting fees for giving them this message.
When confronted with this reality, the moderates revert to the Slade Gorton years in Washington State. The polarization of the culture along social and fiscal lines has changed dramatically in the state and the country.
Ironically, these are the same arguments that were made by the "moderates" against supporting Ronald Reagan in the beginning. I remember them well. As Reagan rose to prominence, defeating the Soviet Union with his words backed by his actions and deeply held convictions about freedom, the moderates went on hiatus. Now they're back with the same message: "If we can just look like and act like the far left progressives we can win."
Stamp that file, "Formula for Failure."
While the Values Summit last weekend may not reflect a cross section of America, it certainly represents a growing weariness of this failed "moderate message."
In a straw vote taken for a presidential candidate, those attending voted 42% for Ted Cruz. Ben Carson received 13%, Rick Santorum 13%, Rand Paul 6%, and 5% for Marco Rubio.
Can a highly qualified conservative win in this present culture? Well, we haven't tried that for a long time.
Frankly, I would rather lose with a conservative principled bold leader with convictions, than lose with a "want to be" politically correct liberal, publicly pretending to be otherwise.
What does a qualified, principled leader look like?
I'm talking about 7 Biblical characteristics of a true leader on the radio this morning live at 9 AM, PDT. Please join me from anywhere in the world. Here's how.
Be Vigilant. Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.