Continued from page 2

Reality, however, may be what the masters of perception in the GOP and Democratic leadership and in the Fourth Estate say it is — a debacle for Mr. Cruz and his party’s image. That wasn’t the case with Ronald Reagan, depicted by the political and press establishments as a trigger-happy cowboy and intellectually handicapped B movie actor, or George W. Bush, also depicted as intellectually wanting.

That was then. Today, polls show the GOP took the biggest hit among the public in the spending and debt showdown. Some conservatives insist, however, on putting principles over polls, in part because doing so can lead to eventual victory rising out of apparent defeat.

“If the Founders made their decisions based on poll numbers: 33 percent for revolution, 33 percent for King George and 33 percent in the middle, we would not have America,” Mr. Yue said.