For a brief moment in time this week, it appeared that Americans of all political persuasions could finally unite around a common cause—hating and clowning on Ted Cruz for jetting off to Cancun during a severe winter storm that, coupled with state-approved greed and mismanagement, left millions of Texans without power, heat, and water. Alas, that moment has passed, and some conservatives are now coming to his defense using a peculiar excuse—Cruz is just a senator, y’all, and as a mere senator, what could he have done to help the people he was elected to serve?
Donald Trump Jr., who unfortunately for us has not been banned by Twitter like his father, made that argument on Thursday night in a video he posted defending Cruz. “In the grand schemes of things, he’s a senator. He doesn’t manage crisises [sic] in states, that’s a governor’s job,” Don Jr. opined. “He’s a federal employee, they mostly vote on things. So I’m not going to jump on this bandwagon of trying to cancel this guy for taking his kids on a vacation.”
That’s certainly a weird and telling argument to make, though it perhaps (correctly) acknowledges that Cruz is, at his core, a piece of shit. It’s true that Cruz, as a senator, is not required to be a good person who cares about the people he represents. I would never expect that from him, a man whose conception of his job seems to be largely shitposting in an effort to own the libs and actively looking for ways to make the lives of the majority of Texans as miserable as possible. But there are certainly things Cruz could have done, if he had wanted (which he didn’t, to again state the obvious)—just look at the efforts of Democrats Beto O’Rourke and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, neither of whom are elected officials representing the state. O’Rourke marshaled his network to make hundreds of thousands of calls to check-up on Texans; Ocasio-Cortez raised more than $1 million to support relief efforts.
But arguing that Cruz—a senator with a wide network of contacts and a large social media following that he could have called on to help in relief efforts—has no responsibility or ability to assist people in crisis isn’t the only defense conservatives are now mounting of his little jaunt to Cancun. Why are we focusing so much on Cruz, they’re whining, instead of, say, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo? This isn’t only an obvious effort at misdirection, it’s also an argument that conveniently ignores the fact that Cuomo has, in factreceived quite a bit of scrutiny and media coverage over his terrible mishandling of the pandemic, and in particular for his mishandling of covid-19 in nursing homes.
“Looking forward to the establishment media dedicating as many resources to Andrew Cuomo lying about the deaths of thousands of seniors and threatening legislators as they do to Ted Cruz flying to Cancun and leaving his dog in the care of security,” Ben Shapiro wrote. Don Jr. also tried it. “The hypocrisy of those trying to cancel Ted Cruz who have been totally silent on their Democrat Governor’s incompetence is telling,” he wrote.
On Friday morning, Fox & Friends also got in on the action. Pete Hegseth kicked off the segment by railing about Andrew Cuomo and his brother, the CNN anchor Chris Cuomo. “And yet not a word about his brother who’s got this scandal on his hands. It is an amazing double standard. It exposes exactly who they are, the PR department of the Democrat Party,” Hegseth said, adding, “They’re going after Ted Cruz because he’s been an effective, consistent conservative for years. He made have made the wrong call, he acknowledges that, but the media, well, they show who they are every time.”
Guys, calm down—I for one hate Andrew Cuomo almost as much as I detest Ted Cruz! We can do both, believe it or not!