Ted Cruz is no rebel. He just plays one on TV.

So what is the nature of the problem Cruz sees in Washington? If you go to the part of his website titled “Rein in Washington,” you’ll find that his plan consists of abolishing the IRS, cutting domestic spending, and passing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. The first is too stupid to even bother with (who’s going to collect taxes?), and the second and third are standard Republican ideas shared even by — cover the children’s ears — the establishment!

The truth is that almost all of the policies Ted Cruz would pursue are exactly those that would have been pursued by Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, or any of the other Republicans who ran for president. Tax cuts for the wealthy? Oh yeah. Fewer regulations for corporations? Right on. No action on climate change? Yes, sir. Boost military spending? You know it. Right-wing judges? You betcha. Continue the assault on collective bargaining? No doubt.

They’d all do those things because they’re all Republicans who share conservative ideas. The arguments between the establishment and the rebels like Cruz were always about tactics, not ideology.