Washington (CNN) - Conservative Republicans love to invoke the name of Ronald Reagan, the icon of GOP purity, in the eyes of many.
But as the debt ceiling stalemate drags into the weekend, former Republican Congressman Vin Weber is urging the party's present-day rank-and-file to be more like Reagan - and that means compromising.
Listen to Constantini's interview with Rep. Weber: Download: race.08.html
Weber, now a GOP consultant in Washington, tells CNN Radio, for the good of the party, House Republicans, especially those elected in the 2010 midterms, need to remember history. He knows. He was there.
"Reagan typically, also was a shrewd political leader. I think that the Republicans in the House of Representatives, who came here with all the right ideals … need, if I can use a phrase that would seem counterintuitive, to rise to the level of politics."
In his day, President Reagan, facing a Democratically controlled Congress, was forced to compromise, including on some tax hikes.
Weber says that as the debt ceiling face-off has dragged on for weeks, he's had occasions to speak with some House members. His message?
"It's easier to simply stake your ground and say, 'I'm not going to move from here.' But if you're actually going to try to accomplish your objectives, you've got to wade into the political thicket."
But of course, playing politics and compromising are what many freshmen members, particularly those aligned with the tea party movement, vowed they'd never do once they arrived on Capitol Hill.
"These are people that are extraordinarily principled. They came here, in their view, with a mission to save the country from economic collapse," Weber says.
"What I've tried to emphasize to them is that in order to accomplish their goals, they need to be ready to engage more politically, than they have now. That seems counterintuitive to a lot of these newer members."