In January, Senator McCain aggressively grilled retired Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) during Hagel’s Defense secretary confirmation hearings. Formerly close, the friendship ended when Hagel refused to endorse McCain for president in 2008. McCain asked excellent questions — hard-hitting and appropriate. When Hagel could not answer, McCain was openly hostile.

That weekend, McCain and Graham hit the Sunday talk show circuit expressing justifiable concern about Hagel’s qualifications for the job. But when Senator Cruz later asked Hagel equally hard-hitting questions in an Armed Services Committee meeting, McCain and Graham publicly raked him over the coals for being too tough on Hagel.

This left Beltway insiders and regular folk scratching their heads. Unless, of course, they remembered Cruz’s Bush association.

An energetic, principled Republican triumvirate has emerged quickly in the newest Senate as Rand Paul (R-KY), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Cruz consolidate conservative energy without the intrigue, backstabbing, and looting of the Imperial treasury that so hampered Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey.

Spawned by John Brennan’s role as Obama counterterrorism chief in crafting policy on drones over the homeland, this week Senator Paul — with the assistance of Cruz and Rubio — filibustered Brennan’s nomination to head the CIA. America was cheering from its living room. Facebook and Twitter were on fire. The three young senators delivered a thirteen-hour primer on Constitutional governance with grace, humor, and brilliance that rekindled hope in our future and interest in foundational American rights.

So naturally, Lindsey Graham appeared on the Senate floor the next morning with a ridiculous sign comparing Americans killed in the U.S. by al-Qaeda (2,958) vs. drones (0.) He and Senator McCain spent the day following cameras to explain the inspirational filibuster was “ill-informed” while telegraphing civil liberties are less important than delivering a comeuppance to usurpers Paul, Rubio — and Cruz.

The GOP symbol is an elephant, and elephants never forget. But when a bull’s memories cause harm to fellow elephants, it’s time to move on and let the next generation assume leadership of the herd.