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March 10th

See Cruz

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Memo to Ted Cruz: YOU’RE STILL AN ASSHOLE.

One of the fun things about finding my way through the various time/energy/brainpower calculations required to resume writing the column is that a thing can happen that I want to write about, and then everyone will talk about that thing, and then everyone will stop talking about that thing, and I still haven’t written the thing, and then a couple weeks later I can say, hey, remember when Ted Cruz abandoned his state and his dog and ran off to Cancun?

Because the sequence of events was truly amazing, and deserves to be recounted and remembered. Texas’ stupid, laissez-faire grid system didn’t plan for a freeze because nobody made them do it, and then the state froze, and the grid went down, and people started dying, and Ted Cruz and his family headed to Cancun to escape the cold because they’re rich assholes.

And people rightly wondered “hey, isn’t that what rich assholes do?” And so Cruz said “don’t blame me, blame my rich asshole daughters. I’m just a good dad for giving them whatever they want! I only flew to Mexico for a day with a full suitcase in the middle of a pandemic because such a good Senatordad am I!”

And then some of Heidi Cruz’s rich asshole friends released some group text that proved all of this was a lie, and then someone at United leaked his last-minute flight change to prove the whole thing was even more of a lie, and Ted Cruz’ political career was damaged more than when he tried to help overthrow the government, which is both weird and understandable and the main thing I wanted to talk about before waiting all these weeks necessitated a fucking recap.

It’s weird, because you’d think being an instrumental part in both a violent insurrection and the post-insurrection attempt to overturn the election at the heart of said insurrection would lead to, you know. Political consequences. And that would be true in a sane and just world, but of course that’s not where we live.

Ultimately, Ted Cruz’ Cancun faux pas was a personal failing. As a rich asshole thing to do, it’s certainly aligned with the Republican Party on principle, but ultimately what he did doesn’t reflect badly on the GOP, so the GOP doesn’t have to pretend too strongly that it was OK. I mean, a bunch of them tried, but it was a reflexive and half-assed defense.

The insurrection and overthrow of the election have to be denied by all Republicans in the strongest possible terms, however, because they were definitely a Republican thing. Cruz may have been one of the leading voices, but acknowledging Cruz’s role means acknowledging the explicit support of a third of Republicans and the implicit support of the rest. And that can’t happen, and thus it didn’t happen.

There is a silver lining to all this, though. Ted Cruz went to CPAC, a.k.a. Even More Racist Comicon, and made lame, vaguely self-deprecating jokes about the whole scandal. Which isn’t a good thing if you had to sit through the jokes, but the existence of the jokes is a surprisingly positive sign, because it’s firmly outside the Trump playbook.

Cruz’s “dur hur hur I fucked up oh well isn’t it hilarious great let’s move on” moment of CPAC is something Trump never, ever did. In similar circumstances, Trump would have checked to see if he owned any property in Cancun so he could have CPAC moved there, and if not, would’ve used CPAC to brag about how he personally boosted the Cancun tourist industry.

Cruz didn’t do that, and any time one of Trump’s bootlicking toadies with ambitions to follow in his footsteps proves they’re incapable or unwilling to go full Trump, we should all breathe a small sigh of relief.