When did principles become passé? When did keeping campaign promises become a disservice to the party? When did the idea of not spending money we don’t have become extremism?

While the senior managers of the GOP continue shooting from the sidelines, the freedom wing of the party is moving ahead with real reform solutions. Within a month of being sworn into office, Mike Lee drafted the best balanced-budget amendment in the history of the Senate. Rand Paul spent his first year drafting a budget proposal that would balance the budget in five years and streamline the structure and functions of the federal government. Without Ted Cruz’s bold leadership in the fight to defund the president’s broken health care law, the possibility of a delay of the individual mandate would not even be on the table.

These are the rising stars of the new Republican Party, sent to Washington by a decentralized community of principle-driven activists across the country.