Ted Cruz's Cancun Jaunt Is the Move of Someone Who Feels They're Totally Insulated From Consequences

Charles P. Pierce
·3-min read
Photo credit: JABIN BOTSFORD - Getty Images
Photo credit: JABIN BOTSFORD - Getty Images

From Esquire

I’m starting to doubt the benefits of an Ivy League education. Tailgunner Ted Cruz, Republican senator from Texas, is starting to make me wonder whether or not he might have been better off taking the world-famous underwater welding course at San Jacinto Junior College than he was going to Princeton and then Harvard Law School.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think the Tailgunner is cracking up a bit. For a couple of months now, he has taken to social media as a groaningly unfunny—but unambiguously weird—Twitter troll. (I keep telling these birds that snark is best left to the experts.) The other day, when a few hundred people called Cruz out for having mocked California last summer as that state went through blackout hell, he responded with a blasé “My Bad” on the electric Twitter machine. And, on Thursday, in a political move so maladroit that it’s amazing that Willard Romney didn’t think of it in 2012, Cruz got caught jetting to Cancun while Texas spent a full week as a Swanson’s TV dinner. From The Daily Beast:

The senator’s fellow travelers seemed to out his visit on Wednesday evening by posting several snaps of him inside an airport and then, later, on a plane. An unnamed Republican appeared to put an end to the speculation Thursday morning, telling Fox News that the allegations are true and commenting: “The photos speak for themselves.”

Busted, Cruz came back to Texas in less than a day. If he were an average citizen, the DEA would be camped out in his den when he got home.

This little drama gives us yet another window into the fact that successful mendacity has come so easily to a generation of conservative politicians that they don’t develop the basic involuntary reflexes of the craft. Any old-school pol worth his honorarium would have known that flying to the beach in Mexico while your constituents are burning the chifforobe to stay warm is an optic to avoid at all costs. This is the move of a politician who’s begun to feel that he’s completely insulated from political consequence. Most of the time, this is a short route back into the loving arms of the private sector. Ever since the 2016 election, when he signed on as a loyalist behind the campaign of a man who’d slandered both his wife and his father, Cruz has been reeling through politics like a goat who’s gotten into the absinthe. Maybe it’s just the weight of self-loathing that’s made him that way. History will have to tell. But he would’ve been better off driving to Whataburger.

Update (1:53 p.m.): Amazingly, and against almost impossible odds, Senator Cruz managed to find a way to make the whole situation even worse. His explanation? His daughters made him do it.

With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon. My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas. We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm. My team and I will continue using all our resources to keep Texans informed and safe.

Stop helping yourself, senator.

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