Politics: Ted Cruz is an embarrassment to Texas (opinion)

Beto O'Rourke Slams Ted Cruz for Flying to Cancun While Texans Are 'Freezing to Death'

  Beto O'Rourke Slams Ted Cruz for Flying to Cancun While Texans Are 'Freezing to Death' Many social media users expressed outrage at photos apparently showing the senator flying out of the country.O'Rourke, a former Texas representative, spoke to MSNBC's Morning Joe on Thursday about the situation in his home state and highlighted the viral photos of Cruz, which purportedly showed the senator on an airplane heading to Cancun.

Two images that have been circulating on social media capture the culture and government of Texas to a T.

Ted Cruz smiling for the camera © KTRK

One is a drone video showing Stateline Boulevard, the border road that divides the two cities of Texarkana, in Texas and Arkansas. On the Arkansas side, the pavement is cleared and plowed. The Texas roadbed is buried in snow.

The other image is that of Ted Cruz, Texas' Republican junior senator, traveling to Cancún, Mexico on Wednesday, while millions of his constituents were freezing at home, many without power, water or food.

What's the matter with Texas?

I have long insisted that a kind of frontier ethic still informs life down here in the Lone Star State. The old American myth of rugged individualism and self-reliance and neighbors helping neighbors. But that doesn't explain our overwhelming distaste for government.

Texas is freezing, but the roast of Ted Cruz is on

  Texas is freezing, but the roast of Ted Cruz is on A senator nobody likes walks into a scandal nobody can resist. “Lucifer in the flesh,” Republican John Boehner, the former Speaker of the House, called him in 2016.

Almost every conservative Texas politician elected in the modern era has won by running against perceived evils in Washington and Austin. The most successful of these anti-government outsiders have settled into long careers on the public payroll, with great government benefits like health care and pensions, which the regular citizens they serve have increasingly found difficult to acquire.

James Moore standing in front of a body of water © Provided by CNN James Moore

Texas's attitude toward government has become deadly.

The winter storm that was too much for Cruz offers a clear example of the tragedies that can accompany policies that are too conservative to make sense, but calculated enough to make some people money.

Texas fancied itself as independent from the rest of the Union, so it built an electrical grid all its own. The entire purpose seemed to be avoiding federal regulation and keeping energy cheap. Washington would have no say about what we Texans did regarding fuel prices and service delivery. Nor would we stoop to buying or borrowing power from the rest of the country.

As Cruz headed to Cancun, Beto O'Rourke made welfare calls to suffering Texans and AOC raised $1 million for Texas relief efforts in 4 hours

  As Cruz headed to Cancun, Beto O'Rourke made welfare calls to suffering Texans and AOC raised $1 million for Texas relief efforts in 4 hours While Sen. Ted Cruz made a politically disastrous trip to Cancun, prominent Democrats focused on relief efforts for vulnerable Texans.Almost half a million Texans remained without power Thursday after arctic weather knocked out key energy infrastructure. The conditions had claimed at least 20 lives nationwide as of Thursday.

The real reason, of course, was profits for energy companies. Supply and demand are easier to manipulate when there are no federal laws protecting consumers and the grid. The energy industry was able to ignore warnings about winterizing its natural gas, coal, and oil-powered infrastructure. We're Texas. We don't have those problems.

Until we do. Which is just another manifestation of anti-government, fossil-fuel-fixated conservatism that denies climate change.

The Texas grid, operated by the ironically named Electric Reliability Council of Texas, (ERCOT) collapsed because it was not designed or equipped to handle extreme weather like the current deep freeze. ERCOT supplies about 90% of the state's power, but does not pay plants to be on standby for emergencies, which means electricity prices can dramatically spike during peak demand.

Our governor, Greg Abbott spread a profound lie on conservative television that frozen windmills and solar caused the power failures that left millions freezing in the dark. He blamed the Green New Deal, which does not presently exist. He failed to note that renewables make up barely more than 10% of the state's total energy supply.

Ted Cruz Billboard, Posters Spotted in Texas Mocking Senator's Cancun Trip

  Ted Cruz Billboard, Posters Spotted in Texas Mocking Senator's Cancun Trip Senator Ted Cruz is facing calls to resign after flying with his family to Cancun on Wednesday night where, his wife told friends, rooms at the Ritz-Carlton where they planned to stay cost $309 a night.A digital billboard emblazoned with the message "Texans Froze. Ted Fled" has been seen on the side of a truck was reportedly spotted driving through Houston by Fox 26 journalist Natalie Hee.

Abbott's predecessor, Rick Perry, suggested that Texans would rather suffer days of blackouts than submit to Washington's oversight. He said this even as people were freezing to death in their cars and homes; at least 21 people have died. Perhaps, their final thoughts were that they were grateful to Texas for the state's superior energy independence.

In Texas, we have learned never to expect much more than entertainment from our government and politicians. In that department, we are as grand as our legend. Last August, Cruz boldly mocked California's electricity problems during their heatwave and fires, tweeting that the state was "unable to perform even the basic functions of civilization, like having reliable electricity."

More hilariously, Cruz ridiculed the Austin mayor for flying to a Mexican beach during Covid after urging his city's residents to stay home.

Senator Sensitive will be performing his comedy act for at least four more years.

But Ted Cruz, as Texan Jimmie Dale Gilmore sings, is "just a wave, not the water." The state's governmental infrastructure is over-populated with people who brag about a pay-as-you go government while avoiding political criticism by hiding taxes in bonded indebtedness approaching $60 billion.

United Airlines Investigating Who Leaked Ted Cruz's Cancun Flight Info

  United Airlines Investigating Who Leaked Ted Cruz's Cancun Flight Info When Cruz suddenly changed his travel plans to return home from Cancun on Thursday instead of on Saturday, a source from United Airlines reportedly leaked the information to a journalist who shared it on Twitter.Cruz faced widespread criticism for traveling to the Mexican beach spot while millions of his constituents in his home state went without power, water or heat amid severe winter storms. A few Texans have also died from weather-related causes during the storms.

The state's gas tax has not been raised since 1991, and consequently road construction is being increasingly privatized and monetized for corporations that charge onerous tolls for profit.

To constrain Washington's reach in Texas, the past two governors have refused to expand Medicaid, which leaves about 5 million residents without health insurance, including an estimated 625,000 children.

And because conservatives have an aversion to an income tax, they have made Texas over-reliant on property taxes, unless, of course, you are a corporate interest looking for a handout or huge tax abatements.

We Texans ought to be embarrassed. But Cruz has shown how our state's conservatives avoid embarrassment by being slippery and disingenuous. Caught out at the airport -- taking vacation in the midst of a pandemic and energy crisis in his home state -- Cruz later admitted to a mistake in judgment. But not before he tossed his own daughters under the wheels of the plane.

The father of the year said he wasn't abandoning his state during a deadly emergency, he was lovingly protecting his girls by escorting them to Cancun to make sure they were safe.

The people he left freezing in Texas were not.

Skedaddle excuses say much about character of 'Cancun Cruz' .
His attitude toward federal government disaster relief varies with who gets aid. Between 2013 and 2017, when President Obama was president, Cruz voted against five supplementary disaster assistance bills. In 2013, he maintained, falsely, that "two-thirds of what was spent" on Hurricane Sandy, much of it earmarked for New York and New Jersey, "had little to do" with addressing the disaster.In 2017, however, Cruz supported federal legislation to help Texans ravaged by Hurricane Harvey.

See also