Ted Cruz is the poster boy for disaster capitalism, but then, he always has been

All it took for Ted Cruz to displace Bernie Sanders’ mittens at the top of the national meme board was a display of callous indifference so grand that the writers of the new Cruella de Vil movie are wondering if they can incorporate Ted’s move without it seeming too cartoonish. With the Republican-designed disaster capitalism power system leaving millions of Texans in the cold and dark, Ted decided to just skip the whole scene and take in the sun in Cancun. Because somehow, Cruz, with the most identifiable mini-mullet on the planet, thought he’d just slip through a Texas airport and collect a few beach days and no one would notice.

Cruz then hastily booked an abrupt return flight just seventeen hours later, then proceeded to lie about it, claiming this had always been the plan. Then he fell back on blaming his 10- and 12-year-old daughters, and admitted that he had intended to stay through the weekend to help them relax after a “tough week.” It was all such a display of over the top sneering at the people he is supposed to be serving, smeared with a frosting of rich-person privilege, that even Ted Cruz realizes it was a mistake. And that’s saying something.

Meanwhile, Beto O’Rourke made over 150,000 wellness checks on seniors left in the cold during the blackout, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez helped raise over $1 million in relief funds through ActBlue. Do you get it yet, Texas?

Ted Cruz is not actually the Texas mayor who told his constituents to stop calling him for help because, “No one owes you or your family anything; nor is it the local government’s responsibility to support you during trying times like this! Sink or swim, it’s your choice! … Only the strong will survive and the week will perish.” That mayor was forced to resign for his words. All Ted Cruz did was demonstrate those statements through his actions.

Rather than stay to help the people who elected him, Cruz left that to O’Rourke and AOC. Instead he decided a little beachside massage and umbrella drinks was the appropriate response to a crisis. Which means that Cruz’s reception on his return to his home state has been about as warm as the average Texas water pipe at this point. 

People at Ted Cruz’s house, waiting for him to get home. pic.twitter.com/3juZZ7nIa5

— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) February 19, 2021

Even Cruz’s “I had intended to stay over the weekend” is underselling his action considerably. His family absconded to Mexico on Wednesday. What he meant was he was actually taking a whole week off in the middle of a crisis that has turned deadly for his state. And his only real excuse seems to be that he’s worthless anyway, so why bother to stay? In fact, Cruz’s intrinsic lack of any purpose was the main defense provided to him by his pals at Fox News, who indignantly huffed on Thursday about how, if Cruz stuck around, it wasn’t like he was going to do anything.

As The Washington Post eloquently puts it:

“Nobody likes Ted Cruz. This was the place that Ted Cruz was starting from earlier this week. Then he went to Cancun. He went to Cancun, where it is mostly sunny and in the low 80s, while many of his ice-blasted constituents were without heating and plumbing, watching their ceilings collapse, huddling in warming centers, defecating in buckets, and generally not packing for a few days on the Yucatán Peninsula.”

To make it even more damning. This is also the Ted Cruz who voted against relief for Hurricane Sandy. The Ted Cruz who mocked California for much less severe rolling blackouts by saying the state “is now unable to perform even basic functions of civilization.” And the Ted Cruz who not only has announced his opposition to President Biden’s COVID-19 relief bill, he voted against the last COVID-19 relief bill. This is the Ted Cruz who thinks nothing of paying for a week at the Ritz Carlton in Cancun and airline tickets bought on a whim with no advance discount, but believes that Americans don’t deserve a $2,000 relief check. That’s a lot of baggage, even for a spiffy bit of brand-new rolling luggage. 

And, oh yeah, this would also be the same Ted Cruz who helped to incite, support, and defend a deadly insurgency that smashed into the halls of the Capitol on January 6 and sought to murder members of Congress. It’s also the same Ted Cruz who openly and smugly conferenced with Donald Trump’s legal team to give them advice on the best way to escape justice in the Senate. 

On Friday, temperatures in Texas are up, and while hundreds of thousands are still purposely without power as the overstressed electrical grid puts itself back in order. All over the state, Texans are discovering that their homeowner’s insurance will not cover the damage caused by bursting pipes, even when that led to collapsing floors and ceilings.  

And now Ted Cruz is back to his real job, which is appearing on Fox News to join in the endless lies about how the problems in Texas are actually all Democrats’ fault, even though Republicans have been running the system for decades. That’s because, as MSNBC host Chris Hayes has noted, Cruz sees himself as “Rush Limbaugh with a Senate office.” He’s not there to do anything. He’s not there to do anything for the people of his state. He only exists to make snide remarks and attack democracy.

On Friday, the Houston Chronicle summed Cruz up in an editorial as hot as the state’s been cold.

Take our advice, senator, and resign. Seems like you could use a break and we could, too, from an ineffective politician who, even in crisis, puts his personal itinerary before the needs of Texans.

Ted Cruz's vacation and the Mars rover landing coincide in a meme https://t.co/at3uefsdAl pic.twitter.com/dE8HO0w9KP

— Mashable (@mashable) February 19, 2021