BLAMING GOP ‘MODERATES’…. If Democrats are very lucky, Republicans will take Tony Perkins seriously.

A conservative leader Friday laid the Republican Party’s poor showing at the polls at the feet of moderates who, he argues, led the party away from its core principles.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told CNN that conservatives need to take back control of the GOP if the party is to return to its winning ways.

“Moderates never beat conservatives. We’ve seen that in past elections,” he said.

Perkins added, “What Tuesday was, was a fact that people wanted change, and it’s a rejection of a moderate view.”

It’s almost as if Perkins is living in another country.

Really, where are these Republican moderates running the party? What part of the Republican agenda in 2008 was insufficiently conservative?

Reality doesn’t matter, I suppose. Perkins has a right-wing agenda, and if he can take advantage of a Republican collapse, he will. Why anyone in a position of authority would believe him is a mystery, but that’s a separate matter.

Perkins’ assessment comes just 48 hours after Sen. John Ensign (Nev.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Ensign (Nev.) said issues such as abortion and gay rights should not be at the core of the party.

The factional warfare really is going to be entertaining, isn’t it?

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.