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When the going gets tough, Ted Cruz gets going

All the way to Cancun. Smell ya later, suckers!

At least he was wearing a mask

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz was feeling the heat Thursday as photos circulated online showing the Texas Republican traveling to Cancún while millions in his home state were left in the cold without power and water, reeling from a major winter weather disaster.

The senator, who was spotted on a Wednesday flight, said in a statement that his family lost heat and power like many, and with school out for the week, his daughters asked to go.

“Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon,” Cruz said.

It was unclear whether the quick return was originally planned, but it wasn’t quick enough for many regardless. By Thursday morning, the trip had already sparked renewed calls for Cruz’s resignation — six weeks into 2021, the senator with 2024 presidential ambitions has also been the focus of scorn over his objections to certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory, an effort his campaign used to raise money that also led to calls for his resignation and an ethics complaint from Senate Democrats.

Cruz was also called out earlier this week for having mocked California’s rolling blackouts in 2020.

“I got no defense,” Cruz tweeted in response. “A blizzard strikes Texas & our state shuts down. Not good. Stay safe!”

Political experts in Texas, however, don’t expect all this bad PR to stick. Even after the insurrection at the Capitol, Cruz consistently ranks among the most popular Republicans in the state. He was second only to Donald Trump in a University of Houston poll released last month, easily weathering the outrage from the Capitol attack.

“While he may be one of the most disliked politicians in Texas, he is also one of the most well liked — and his base is not going to budge, even under these circumstances,” said Renée Cross, senior director at UH’s Hobby School of Public Affairs, which conducted the poll.

Republican political operatives, however, were shaking their heads at the Cancún trip, even as they questioned what Cruz realistically could have done about the crisis in Texas that he couldn’t also do remotely.

Derek Ryan, a Republican political consultant in Texas, predicted the photos will haunt the senator for some time.

“‘Whether he can help or not, in 2024 the ads will be, ‘While you and your family froze, Cruz fled to Mexico,’” Ryan tweeted. “Perception is reality.”

“You need to be seen as engaged, you need to be seen as active in your community, helping out,” Brendan Steinhauser, a GOP strategist in Texas, said.

“He is a senator, so what can he actually do right now? Most of what they can do is make calls, send emails, make statements … He could argue a lot of those things, I can do from my phone, from virtually anywhere,” Steinhauser said. “But he decided to come back home… he sees this is a perception problem.”

Let’s be clear about a couple of things:

1. Speaking as a dad, I get the desire to make life better for your kids, in whatever circumstance. I thought about packing us all up and going somewhere this week – where, I had no idea – because it did suck to be in a cold, dark house with nothing to do. I don’t actually blame him for that desire, but using the kids as a shield for his own questionable decision, that’s a coward’s move. You made the decision to fly to Cancun, as opposed to driving to a hotel or sleeping over with a friend who had power, or just toughing it out and commiserating the the millions of other Texans in the same boat. Own it.

2. Nobody cuts Ted Cruz any slack because Ted Cruz has earned his reputation as one of the biggest jerks in America. He’s always among the first in line to kick someone else when they’re down – see the tweets about California, or about Austin Mayor Steve Adler and his trip to Cabo a few months ago, which was noted later in the story – so people line up to do the same when he stumbles. He’s also been especially critical of politicians he doesn’t like who dare to take vacations, which again brings up the hypocrisy angle. Ultimately, Ted Cruz gets extended the same grace he extends to everyone else, which is to say none at all. It’s the purest application of the Golden Rule that ever existed.

3. Honestly, what did he think was going to happen here? He’s not only one of the most hated people in the country, he’s also one of the most recognizable. The odds of him travelling to Cancun and back without being noticed were exactly zero. Hell, even his supposed friends are adding to the feeding frenzy (more here).

4. Oh, and did we mention the pandemic that’s still going on? Ted Cruz and his family taking an international flight was a bad idea even without the “constituents freezing in the dark” optics. Go back to the story and review what Cruz said about Steve Adler. It’s almost as if that was completely cynical, because the rules only apply to other people, not to Ted Cruz.

5. I get that the people who love Ted Cruz really love Ted Cruz, but no one’s approval ratings are set in stone. Donald Trump’s approval ratings are now lower than they ever were during his reign of terror, and his sycophants are as zealous as they come. The thing about an event like this is that it doesn’t actually have anything to do with politics or a bill or some other argument that Republicans are having with Democrats. It’s about Ted Cruz doing something that looks to be deeply selfish and indifferent to anyone else. Some number of people who like him will like him less as a result of this. Maybe that’s not a big number, and maybe some of them eventually forgive him. Maybe even those who are done with him will never vote for the next Democrat that runs against him. My point is that with someone this evenly polarizing, it doesn’t take much to tilt the balance that currently favors him in this state. He had an awfully close election last time, though to be fair he was running in a tough year for Republicans. It wouldn’t have taken much to alter the outcome.

6. And he had a HPD escort when he arrived statewide. What a guy.

Anyway. The next time Ted Cruz will be on a ballot is a long time from now. The attack ads will write themselves, but who knows what might transpire between now and then to make us all hate Ted Cruz in a different way. In the meantime, please enjoy the voluminous Twitter snark at Ted Cruz’s expense. Politics is fleeting, but sincere mockery is forever.

UPDATE: Some more Twitter venom for Cruz.

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18 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    Cruz is embracing Our new national policy of open borders! He is just meeting and welcoming future US sin papeles residents that he will be representing, and the fact that he was in Mexico shows our commitment as a country to put foreigners FIRST again.

    Your discomfort and sacrifice is appreciated, as we make room for our new residents. Thanks, y’all!

  2. Jen says:

    The native peoples of Mexico and the Southwest were here long before you and me, Bill. Every white family is an immigrant family. We are the foreigners. Ted Cruz, however, may be a deep space alien.

  3. David Fagan says:

    From the insurrection and impeachment trials to this cold weather and relentless criticism, I think I’d want to leave too.

    The “Golden Rule” (Jesus taught this in Matt 7:12
    “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you: do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”)
    is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” not, do unto others as they have done to you. Ted Cruz may be reaping what he has sown.

  4. Lobo says:

    The ethic of reciprocity

    Not sure why David invokes this upon Cruz, but while we are at it, let me just point out that the Golden Rule precedes Christ and that its wisdom and validity doesn’t depend on religion, or Christianity in particular. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule

  5. David Fagan says:

    Good point Lobo.

  6. brad says:

    Really great that Bill Daniels and Republicans think Cruz is a jacksass because he was a weasely lying wuss about his trip to Cancun, yet they love him for supporting an insurrection at the US Capitol where Republicans beat capitol police officers (one to death) with Confederate, MAGA and Trump 2020 flags.

  7. Bill Daniels says:

    Brad,

    You guys just make shit up. I learned all of last year that rioting, burning, looting and assault and murder are, in fact, mostly peaceful protest. Autonomous zones, laying seige to federal courthouses and police stations? Mostly peaceful protests that will not, and SHOULD NOT stop. So OK, you just saw a mostly peaceful protest that can not, and SHOULD NOT stop. I laughed when I watched it on the news, and saw the usual suspect legislators cowering in fear.

    No problem when a Bernie bro shot up a baseball game, or when rioters attacked Rand Paul or looted the Verizon store and Cafe Express downtown, right? So hey, if peaceful protest is OK, then why should our legislators be exempt from it? We are upset with Ted because he didn’t want to share sitting in the cold and dark with us, right? I would think you of all people would support the mostly peaceful Capitol protestors.

  8. Bill Daniels says:

    Jen,

    Yes, the Indians. were here before the Europeans. They didn’t have any borders, or border security. How did that work out for the Indians? Not that great, as I recall. So OK, why would you want to be an Indian now, and NOT stop the invaders? You already know it turns out bad if they aren’t stopped.

    And let’s be honest….it wasn’t the Indians that made this country a First World super power, was it? No, White people did that. White people are responsible for Western civilization, for concepts like freedom, and for the society we enjoy today.

    This country should pick and choose who comes here based on what they can bring to the table. We should be importing makers, not takers. Note I didn’t mention race or nationality. Opening the country to an uneducated, unskilled horde doesn’t benefit the US and doesn’t benefit the unskilled, uneducated folks that are already here, especially when government is forcing employers out of business.

    When the unemployment rate is super low, that is the time to start importing people we need….not people who need us and our hand outs.

  9. Manny says:

    Indians are from India; because Cristol did not know he was not in India, smart people don’t have to keep repeating his ignorance. They referred to all of what we call Asia as India in those days.

    Bill, it would help if you read more about world history; what other none western civilizations accomplished may amaze you.

    Genghis Khan had one hack of an empire. “At its peak, it covered some 9 million square miles (23 million square km) of territory, making it the largest contiguous land empire in world history. Mongol empire Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.”

    Bill, do you really want us to bring all those none looking whites to do the programming, the engineering, designs, etc.? We do have a lot of doctors that don’t look white. Could it be because people from Europe are not flocking to this country, where about 40% of the people live in an alternative universe?

    Here what someone that fled Venezuela had to say about what is happening here, Bill.

    From the L.A. Times; “My family has found itself going to our cars to warm up and charge our phones,” a friend of mine who lives in San Antonio, which saw several inches of snowfall earlier this week, texted back, asking to remain anonymous. “I see people scouring empty meat and bread sections for food [at the grocery store]. Am I in Venezuela? I’m convinced I live in a third-world country.”

    I relayed this to my sister’s mother-in-law, who escaped the Maduro regime. She didn’t disagree entirely, though she pointed out that at least when the power went out in Venezuela it wasn’t freezing cold.”

    Why would we want people when there are no jobs for them, Bill?

  10. Manny says:

    Bill, it may surprise you what Indians have contributed,

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/5rnsYs1QcPB7CsyjzvTcmjf/7-surprising-things-india-has-given-the-world

    Native Americans some contributions;

    Corn.
    Rubber.
    Kayaks.
    Snow Goggles.
    Cable Suspension Bridges.
    Raised-Bed Agriculture.
    Baby Bottles.
    Anesthetics and Topical Pain Relievers.

  11. Manny says:

    C.L., how many comments on this post before I insulted someone?

    C.L. you are the dumbest person to post on Kuffner.

  12. C.L. says:

    Manny, I don’t know and I don’t care. I’ve spent the last couple days freezing my ass off inside my own house, trying to keep my family safe, and repairing multiple broken water pipes outside of and underneath my house. What you do or don’t don’t do really doesn’t concern me.

    But thank you for thinking of me. It’s good to know you care.

  13. […] point here is that one of the defenses of Ted Cruz that was put forth by various sycophants is that he’s just a plain ol’ US Senator, he […]

  14. Manny says:

    C.L., you must live in an old neighborhood, thus the piers and underground water pipes.

    It is too late for advice, but if you are young, some precautions in the future could prevent pipe bursting. Pipes should be insulated, but insulation does not prevent freezing if the temperature goes down low enough and stays low for an extended period of time, like what happened here.

    Turning the water off at the curb will probably prevent pipes from bursting, but no guarantees that it will.

    Letting water drip will not work as running water can still freeze, especially when it is freezing for long periods of time.

    Running water at full power every one to two hours for about a minute is probably the best one can do. It is less wasteful than dripping and more effective; what one sacrifices is sleep.

    In 1989 it got colder down to 7 degrees but not for as long as this year.
    I wish you well.

  15. Manny says:

    under house

  16. Bill Daniels says:

    Manny has good advice here. That is exactly what I did, ran each tap, hot and cold, then flushed each toilet. Yes, it sucks to keep waking up at night, but it is easier to catch up on sleep than it is to have to fix pipes and sheetrock., as many Houstonians are finding out now.

    Full disclosure: I chose to risk it and not disconnect the hoses to the washing machine, but it is on an interior wall, so it worked out.

  17. Ross says:

    Many washing machines have a feature to delay the start of the cycle. That’s one less time you have to wake up.

  18. […] sure you’re aware that I have a very low opinion of the Paxtons, as I do of Ted Cruz and all the other malfunctioning members of our Republican state government who have no call to […]