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February 19, 2021

Ted’s Not-So-Excellent Adventure

Cruz’s brief trip to Cancun was optically idiotic, but the hypocrisy of the Left is what’s driving this story.

Ted Cruz did something monumentally stupid. Full stop.

Packing up and heading off to sunny Cancun while 500,000 of his fellow Texans were without power in the bitter cold was about as optically idiotic a thing as a brilliant senator could do.

But let’s be clear: Ted Cruz’s sin wasn’t in “abandoning” his fellow Texans. No, his sin was woefully underestimating Big Media’s bloodlust for him. If there’s one thing it hates above all else besides Donald Trump himself, it’s a smart, sharp-elbowed, Ivy League-educated, Trump-supporting Texan with a Hispanic surname. And Ted Cruz happens to be all those things.

Back in December, our Thomas Gallatin covered the rank hypocrisy of elected Democrats flouting their own COVID-19 travel restrictions. But did any of those excursions get the front-page coverage that Cruz now enjoys? The question itself is ridiculous.

“Heidi [his wife] and me, we lost power for two days,” Cruz told Fox News. “Our house was dark. We had no heat. We were all huddled around the fireplace because it was the only heat in the house, and after a couple of days [of] the girls being really cold and [temperatures] being in the teens or the 20s outside, our girls said, ‘Look, school has been canceled for the week. Can we take a trip and go somewhere warm?’ And Heidi and I, as parents, we said, ‘OK, sure.’”

“When I arrived,” he said, “and I saw the initial firestorm, what had started with second thoughts that I had as soon as we left grew even greater.” He added that he regrets his trip has become “such a distraction when so many Texans are hurting and angry and mad.”

Does he regret what he did? Yes. “Look, it was obviously a mistake, and in hindsight I wouldn’t have done it,” he said, adding, “I was trying to be a dad.”

Who, as a parent, can blame Cruz for wanting to take care of his family? And yet who, as a thoughtful person in a highly polarized political environment, can help but feel a wave of Chris Farley coming on?

Let’s face it: Short of hanging out back home and building a neighborhood bonfire, there’s nothing he could’ve done — either from Washington or from his home in Texas — that he couldn’t have done via phone or Zoom. We suspect he’d already told those in charge to turn the power back on most ricky-tick.

As Paul Mirengoff at Power Line put it, “Those who suggest that he was derelict in his duty as a senator should explain what Cruz could have done to help his state, beyond having his staff in constant contact with officials, during the brief time he was on this trip. Photo ops might have helped him, but not Texans. As one emailer put it: ‘What the heck was Cruz supposed to be doing, taking a gas-powered hair dryer to every frozen windmill in west Texas?’”

And where were Cruz’s fellow congressional Texans? There are 13 Democrats in the state’s congressional delegation, and we can’t help but wonder if all of them had headed home dutifully to suffer with their constituents. Sheila Jackson Lee, were you back home in Houston, or nice and warm back in the Beltway? Joaquin Castro, how about you?

In the end, perhaps The Babylon Bee said it best: “Ted Cruz is really ignorant of how to be a politician. The guy traveled during a crisis in his state, and he isn’t even a Democrat. What an idiot!”

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