Amid a historic winter storm that has left millions of Texas residents without power or water (and others literally freezing to death in the streets), Senator Ted Cruz had one thing on his mind: his pre-planned family vacay in Cancún, Mexico. As the situation in Texas grew increasingly dire, photos emerged of Cruz and his family, wife Heidi Cruz and kids Caroline and Catherine, boarding a flight to sunny Mexico. The backlash was swift and severe as people rightfully questioned how he could abandon his post at a time like this — let alone at a time when government officials, Cruz included, had been urging people to stay home and stay off the roads, and airports including the one from which Cruz flew had cancelled flights due to inclement conditions. Within 24 hours, Cruz has been sent scurrying back to Texas, claiming he had planned to only take a half-day trip all this time, and the photos of him slinking through the airport with his rolly bag and tail between his legs may be the only good thing to come from this disaster.
Here’s how Cruz justified his decision to go on vacation to CNN, a statement that bears some resemblance to when Kim Kardashian defended her 40th birthday blowout with maskless partiers and masked servers in the back (hint: not considering other people’s safety helps).
“With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon,” the Senator offered. “My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas. We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm. My team and I will continue using all our resources to keep Texans informed and safe.”
Just for kicks, let’s call the most insulting part of this statement him saying he did this because he wanted to “be a good dad,” because this seems like an important moment to disentangle the idea of being a good parent by giving your kids everything they ever want from the idea of being a good parent by modeling good behavior. Teddy boy: your daughters won’t hold your hand on your death bed and say they love you because you took them on every vacation they wanted, even if it was in the middle of a pandemic and a historic climate crisis. In fact, there’s a strong chance they’ll look back on this day and be embarrassed that they had their names and faces associated with this scandal.
While some have made the strong point that Cruz may be as useless back in Texas as he was in Cancún, that doesn’t mean he should be taking calls from a beach in Mexico instead of showing up for the job to which he so dearly clings. There are times when family comes first, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out this wasn’t one of them.
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