The conservative bastions of the Internet are still roiling with controversy over Sen. Cruz' somewhat churlish convention speech.
True, the Senator did not actually insult The Donald, and he did make gentle hints that Trump would be preferable to the alternative. But he most certainly didn't endorse him; he didn't even say he'll vote for him, though odds are he will.
Thus, the current flamewar between Trumpistas who are aghast at Cruz' apparent betrayal of the promise he made months ago to "support the nominee", vs. social conservatives who admire Cruz' defense of his wife, whom Trump insulted and declined to apologize to, even after he had the nomination in the bag.
So, Ted Cruz has ensured that there will be lasting resentments across the GOP - and has given those who dislike him yet another reason.
And in so doing, he has placed all his chips on the number marked "President Hillary."
The risk Sen. Cruz is running is obvious: He is not going to be awarded any position in a Trump administration, nor can he expect any RNC support for any future campaigns he may wish to run so long as President Trump sits in the Oval Office.
This may not seem to matter so much: the obvious next step for Sen. Cruz is Governor of Texas, where he is still immensely popular and where Washington power-brokers are more unhelpful than anything else. Not only can Ted Cruz win without national help, he can probably win against national opposition - indeed, because of opposition from the elites. That's just the way Texas rolls.
Governor of the state of Texas is not too shabby an accomplishment. It seems pretty clear that Ted Cruz' sights are set rather higher and have been for most of his life. But with his refusal to kiss the ring of The Donald, Cruz will never, never be granted another shot at the big prize.
that is, Donald Trump wins this November.
If, on the other hand, Mr. Trump goes down to defeat, Sen. Cruz will spend four years trumpeting the mother of all I-told-you-sos. He certainly did warn the Republican Party of their foolishness in falling for Trump in no uncertain terms - and every time a fawning media drools over President Hillary's latest fatuous blunder, every conservative voter will be reminded of that fact.
In 2020, Ted Cruz will still be a fairly young man, hale and hearty and ready for his own crack at Crooked Hillary, and the Republican party has a long tradition of giving next time's slot to last time's runner-up.
So, in short, it seems that Ted Cruz really does believe the arguments he made all along the campaign trail: Donald Trump cannot beat Hillary Clinton, and a Trump candidacy will doom the Republican party for the next four years.
Is he right? Only time will tell - but there's another deeply disturbing aspect he may not have considered.
In the late 1980s, Pete Rose was on top of the world. He had had a stellar career in major-league baseball, breaking the legendary Ty Cobb's all-time hits record. Then he followed up with a very respectable term as manager of the Cincinnati Reds. Pete Rose seemed a sure shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.
But an investigation determined that Pete Rose had been betting on baseball for many years - indeed, on his own games. He always maintained that he never bet against his own team, but even that is open to doubt. As punishment, Pete Rose was banned for life from baseball, and from the Hall of Fame, even though his hitting record should have ensured him permanent enshrinement there.
In maintaining the gulf between himself and the Republican Party nominee, Sen. Cruz has bet on the enemy. Is this an act of bold truth-telling, or vile betrayal?
Maybe, in his own way, he's just as much of a risk-taker as Donald Trump.
Over the past five years, the editors have been secretly working on a book that summarizes the fundamental viewpoints of Scragged.