Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas strode out to the stage of the Republican National Convention to a standing ovation. He gave a heartfelt address, mentioning the searing story of a little girl whose police officer father was killed, and offered a defense of the United States Constitution and conservative principles. But Cruz left the stage to the din of boos from many of the delegates. The problem was not what Cruz said, but what he did not mention. He declined to specifically endorse Donald Trump. The reaction of the crowd was so violent that Cruz’s wife, Heidi, had to be escorted from the arena under guard.

The spectacle was curious for a number of reasons. The non-endorsement should not have come as a surprise to the Trump people. They knew that Cruz would not endorse at least two days before the speech.

The suspicion has been raised in social media that Trump had decided to ambush Cruz by allowing him to speak and then orchestrating the booing at the end of his speech. The only motive for such a thing would be personal spite. No political advantage can exist for allowing and even encouraging the kind of ugliness that took place on the third night of the convention.

Indeed, the incident can be laid at the feet of Donald Trump for another reason. During the campaign, Trump was uncommonly vicious against his opponent, insulting his wife, slandering his father as a JFK assassin, and calling him “Lying’ Ted” in the manner of a schoolyard taunt. Trump could have fixed things by reaching out of Cruz and apologizing to him and his family and personally asking for his support.

But that act seems to have been beyond Trump, even as he tried to remake himself as a statesman and not, as he has hitherto behaved, a raving demagogue.

Social and cable media are ablaze with people excoriating Cruz for not bending the knee and kissing Trump’s ring, for the sake of party unity. Others who have been savaged by Trump, including Marco Rubio and Chris Christie, have done so, But in the end, that proved to be too much for Cruz.

It was left to Newt Gingrich to offer a spin. Cruz said that people should vote their conscience for the people who will adhere to the Constitution. Since Hillary Clinton views the Constitution with disdain, Cruz, in effect, endorsed Trump. QED.

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