I was on vacation all of last week, so I thankfully missed out on a lot of the usual nonsense that comes with following politics closely and participating in the daily culture wars on Twitter. It appears, however, that Ted Cruz - in the middle of a deadly winter storm in Texas - decided to join me on taking the kids somewhere warm. Pretty fucking dumb, Ted.
I like Ted Cruz. I want to like Ted Cruz more than I currently do, but Ted Cruz is not particularly good at making decisions that will help myself and others like Ted Cruz more than I currently do. Does Ted Cruz forget that he's Ted Cruz sometimes? The same guy that the media loves to hate and that - as a Republican Senator - he is constantly going to be monitored an pilloried for even the slightest error in judgment?
Make no mistake, what Ted Cruz did wasn't "wrong" in the moral sense - he's a United States Senator, not the Governor of Texas, and has no power to actually fix the power grid crippled by a once in a lifetime winter storm in Texas. Ted Cruz didn't steal anything. Ted Cruz didn't sign an order leading to the deaths of people in nursing homes. Ted Cruz isn't keeping your kids out of in-school learning. No, by choosing to go on vacation while his constituents suffered, Ted Cruz displayed a lack of leadership and an unwillingness to stick around and suffer with his constituents. Those are things that voters will consider the next time Ted Cruz is on the ballot in 2024 - either for President or re-election for the US Senate.
What should Cruz have done instead of going to Cancun? The bare minimum that can be asked of an elected official during a time of crisis - being around and giving the appearance of giving a shit about the people who elected him. Yes, it's all for show. Yes, it ultimately has very little net effect on how people deal with the crisis. Yes, it's what's expected of you. Ted Cruz knows this, which is why Ted should've been doing this all week long:
It was a big blunder for a guy who cannot afford to suffer even a small blunder because of his profile and political affiliation. As a result, our corporate media - already starved for a republican "scandal" now that Trump is back at Mar-a-lago full time - got exactly what they wanted: the ability to distract people from things that actually matter and to point at a Republican "scandal". So as more news begins to leak out about how Andrew Cuomo covered up the amount of nursing home deaths in his State or as people start to question why the Biden administration isn't "following the science" on school re-openings - the media spent the better part of a week talking about Cancun Cruz.
In what world can covering up nursing home deaths to avoid political backfire be equated with taking a trip to Cancun with your family? The world of the corporate media, where they hate you and like Andrew Cuomo because of political affiliation.
Is this fair to Ted Cruz? Should Ted Cruz be crucified for "trying to be a dad"? No, but it's also the current state of the media game, Ted Cruz knows the rules and Ted Cruz should've known better. You can point to the media and call out their BLATANT hypocrisy - like I often do - but IF YOU WANT TO WIN, you can't complain when the media does exactly what you expect them to do when you give them a club to beat you over the head with. Maybe one day the media changes and conservatives get a fair shake and objectivity and honesty return to journalism. Today's not that day, so IF YOU WANT TO WIN, you cannot give them easy "Ws", take senseless penalties, miss free throws, rim a putt within 5 feet of the hole or whatever other sports metaphor applies here.
So be smarter, Ted. Be smarter, Republicans.
You have to play the unfair game before you, not the game you wish you could play.
Happy Monday. God Bless America.