It appears that Ted Cruz still has a few tricks up his sleeve, not to get into the White House in 2017, but to force Donald Trump to sign onto a conservative agenda:
Senator Ted Cruz’s supporters are mounting an effort to seize control of the Republican platform and the rules governing the party’s July convention, the first indication that Mr. Cruz will not simply hand his delegates over to Donald J. Trump.
In an email sent Sunday to pro-Cruz convention delegates, a top aide to the Texas senator wrote that it was “still possible to advance a conservative agenda at the convention.”
“To do that, it is imperative that we fill the Rules and Platform Committees with strong conservative voices like yours,” wrote Ken Cuccinelli, who was the campaign’s former delegate wrangler and a former attorney general of Virginia. “That means you need to come to the national convention and support others in coming, too!”
Mr. Cruz is planning a Monday evening conference call where, as Mr. Cuccinelli writes, Mr. Cruz’s former officials plan to “discuss what we can do at the convention to protect against liberal changes to our platform, and how we can right the wrongs in the rules from 2012!”
The “wrongs” Mr. Cuccinelli was referring to are the changes pushed through at the last convention by supporters of Mitt Romney that would have made it harder for a candidate’s name to be placed in nomination.
But Mr. Cruz’s supporters and other conservative activists are also deeply concerned about Mr. Trump’s general election agenda, and want to ensure that he does not alter the party’s platform. Since locking up the nomination last week, Mr. Trump has made clear he intends to run a populist campaign against Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, indicating he is open to higher taxes and an increase in the minimum wage.
But Mr. Cuccinelli said Mr. Cruz, who has been silent since withdrawing from the race last Tuesday, had no intention of trying to rewrite convention rules in an effort to deny Mr. Trump the nomination.
“It’s important that this not appear as though we are pulling at stunt at this convention,” he said, adding that the goal is to advocate for policies preferred by the sort of hard-line conservatives who backed Mr. Cruz’s campaign.
“This is about protecting movement conservatism,” he said, pointing to party planks on abortion and saying the delegates should consider language regarding transgender bathroom access.
“We want to have girls go in girls’ bathrooms,” he said, highlighting an issue on which Mr. Trump has broken with social conservatives by supporting the rights of transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice.
Read the rest here. As I read this, Ted Cruz is doing what he’s always promised to do: Try his best to protect constitutional conservativism in the United States of America. A Trump presidency would certainly be more palatable if he were constrained to follow core conservative ideas. (Although, thinking about it, it’s hard to imagine anything constraining Trump.)