Not to be glib, but was it really surprising? Yet another misbehaving politician not doing their duty; not looking after the wellbeing of their constituents that voted them into office; shirking their public office responsibilities for personal, often monetary, gain. You’d think that after four chaotic years with that orange beach ball as president and a long history of lying and hypocrisy in our government, we’d be over it by now.
For those who have been living under a rock without internet for the past week, what happened was quite the journey. While the state of Texas was in the midst of one of the worst snow storms in its history (hello, climate change), while millions of residents lost power and running water, while this 11-year-old boy died in an unheated mobile home and while several died from carbon monoxide poisoning, Texas senator Ted Cruz was spotted leaving for a luxury vacation in Cancun.
Instantly, he was slammed on Twitter for the obvious, especially with users pointing out his various hypocrisies (such as when he made fun of California for having power outages during the wildfires and when he lashed out at the Austin mayor for going to Mexico).
Perhaps the most infuriating thing about this whole scandal, and Cruz’s second failing, was his non-apology for his very clear mistake. At first, he tried to make the excuse that he was only going to escort his kids there for a single night like a “good dad,” but then he was spotted carrying a suspiciously overly large suitcase for just an overnight stay. Hmm.
He claimed he was having “second thoughts almost immediately” while traveling to Cancun — likely because it was his “oh shit” moment when he realized how bad this would look for him as people started snapping pictures of him on the plane. He then went on to defend his duties as a parent, trying to be #relatable by saying “all of us who are parents have a responsibility to take care of our kids, take care of our family.” Um … yeah, in what parenting rulebook does it state “thou ought to abandon thost constituents to freeze while thou flies off to Cancun”?
Finally, and with what is perhaps the most damning part, he tried to go full moral high ground (as if he had any to begin with) and said, “We’re in a strange time where Twitter’s been going crazy and the media is going crazy and there’s a lot of venom and vitriol that I think is unfortunate frankly on both sides.” It’s a funny statement given that he’s built his career on, as Lisa Lerer from The New York Times put it, “gleefully pointing out the perceived hypocrisies of both political opponents and Republican allies.” I guess it only becomes not OK to point out wrongs when it’s directed at him, which is pretty pathetic. At least now he’s getting a taste of his own medicine.
And if you still need a comparison for his myriad failings, while Cruz was making his way to Cancun, New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised $2 million in aid and flew to Texas to help distribute supplies. In addition, Beto O’Rourke, a private citizen and past rival for Cruz’s senate seat, organized a statewide wellness check on Texas’ senior citizens, which Joe Hagan from Vanity Fair commented on with, “[he] may not have beat Ted Cruz in the Senate race, but now [he’s] doing his job.”
Though the lack of Trump’s “dominating the political conversation” has now provided space in public discourse to point out failings such as this one, Ted Cruz’s mishap needs to be more than the typical one-day Twitter storm that fades away as another scandal pops up. Rick Tyler, Cruz’s former 2016 campaign communications director, states, “There’s no way this is going to be forgotten.”
Unfortunately, the senator isn’t up for reelection until 2024, though search traffic for when he’ll be up for reelection has spiked since he flew off to Cancun, if that says anything about how voters feel about him.
It’s been obvious for a while that Cruz isn’t exactly a good politician, or a good person. He already faced backlash and calls to resign in January for his efforts in trying to overturn the election, as after his speech calling for an audit of the election results, a horde of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building. That, coupled with his failings in these recent weeks, has angered Texas citizens. The only thing now is for Texans to continue remembering his faults come election season.
If you need any more proof that Ted Cruz sucks, even The Satanic Temple wants nothing to do with Cruz, saying, “he is possibly one of the worst.”
Christine Tu thinks that Ted Cruz failed his constituents by leaving them in a time of crisis and thus should be voted out.