Jeffrey Lord | Ted Cruz Extends the Buckley Rule

“We all understand that it is Karl Rove’s mission to promote the Republican Party. It was the mission of Bill Buckley to promote the conservative cause. There should be no confusion between the two.” — Neal B. Freeman

Ted Cruz has done more than concentrate the nation’s attention on the train wreck that is Obamacare.

Cruz has surfaced a longstanding problem with the Republican Party and, disturbingly, various conservative quarters as well.

Cruz has also effectively extended what is known as “The Buckley Rule” from a focus on candidates to a focus on issues. And in doing so is calling attention to the divide between Republican Party apparatchiks whose only goal is to win elections for the sake of winning elections — principles be damned — and those who believe not just that elections should be won but won for a reason.

We don’t mean to pick on any conservative in particular here. There has been a lot of back and forth involving names and publications including Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, National Review, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Brit Hume, and Charles Krauthammer. As Senator Cruz himself has said repeatedly, there’s nothing personal here.

But the latest rant from ex-McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt, the man who believes politics is all about winning yet whose moderate obsession managed to give Obama the presidency, illustrates the problem of “first we have to win an election” exactly. We cite it here only because of its succinctness in stating a sentiment that is, in fact, widespread in Washington GOP circles.


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