Great with the base.
But so base.
So not ready for prime time.
I'm not talking about Ted Cruz right now.
I'm talking about another bull in Republicans' china shop back then.
Way back then.
His name was Ronald Reagan.
And he too was the target of remarkably similar mainstream Republican attacks back in 1976.
When the rising conservative star came within a whisker of beating an incumbent president for his party's nomination.
It didn't happen in 1976.
But it did in 1980.
By which time, a party's soul was cleansed and its direction clear.
I have no idea if history will repeat itself; what I do know is that history teaches us parties do sort this stuff out.
Losing elections along the way.
But eventually getting themselves out of the political wilderness and finding their way.
Sometimes the answer is right before them.
Be who you are.
Not who you think others say you should be.
Or the mainstream media insists you should be.
There is nothing wrong with a party fighting for its soul.
There is everything wrong with a party emerging from that battle with no soul.
Because as Reagan proves, accommodating the times we're in is one thing.
Surrendering to those times is quite another.
Reagan believed in his core that Republicans had forgotten their core.
That they shouldn't accommodate government.
They should annihilate government.
He just said it much better.
I'm not saying Ted Cruz has got this Reagan thing down.
I am saying that a party that tries to alienate Ted Cruz and others like him risks going down to defeat.
Because the other side doesn't turn the tide of history.
Unless its opponents are trapped in a dingy, getting swamped and becoming history.