I noted last week how Cruz has bent in the direction of Rand Paul and Donald Trump as necessary over the last couple of years. There has obviously been political self-interest at work, but the effect of what Cruz has been doing is to keep the GOP’s ideological consensus intact.
Rand Paul would have blown up that consensus. Donald Trump still might. But if Cruz wins the nomination he will be an entirely recognizable conservative with some Paulite and Trumpian coloration. He will be the vessel of the party accommodating, but not surrendering to, the libertarian and populist tendencies.