It’s never a good sign when a Senator uses the shrug emoji in a tweet about dropping the ball in a disaster.
Yet this clumsy attempt at a mea culpa from Texas’s chief culture warrior, Ted Cruz, proved merely an amuse bouche for the hearty meal of his botched response to the power blackouts in his state this week.
Fresh off telling Texans to “stay home” earlier in the week, Cruz has apparently fled Texas for the tropical confines of Cancun.
It’s not the senator’s first run in with hypocrisy during this crisis. Internet denizens with long memories reaching all the way back to summer 2020 resurfaced some of Cruz’s tweets mocking California politicians for allowing power outages to happen on their watch. Later, journalist Katy Tur asked Cruz to reconcile his recent request for federal aid after voting against relief for blue-state Hurricane Sandy victims in 2012, which flummoxed the Senator, who does not seem particularly accustomed to defending his positions.
Once the news of Cruz’s rumored Mexican jaunt broke out on Wednesday night, Twitter exploded with a combination of scorn and schadenfreude-y glee.
First, people mocked the inability to confirm whether Cruz was actually in Cancun.
— Apollo: A GOTG (@HeroOfApollo) February 18, 2021
twitter trying to figure out if ted cruz went to cancun pic.twitter.com/jNArEJ4NOJ
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) February 18, 2021
me trying to confirm these Ted Cruz photos for the last hour pic.twitter.com/wfuUXR8hxP
— Tim Hogan (@timjhogan) February 18, 2021
i want pictures of ted cruz in cancun on my desk! pic.twitter.com/pzCQawavRS
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) February 18, 2021
Comedian Blaire Erskine released a rapid response video, posing as Cruz’s spokesperson.
Statement from Director of Communications for Sen. Ted Cruz pic.twitter.com/5cXIkTTZiW
— blaire erskine (@blaireerskine) February 18, 2021
Memes abounded from the two most popular disaster movies that involve people freezing to death.
Ted Cruz is single handedly reenacting the hilarious scene from Roland Emmerich’s climate disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow where US citizens flee to the Mexico border pic.twitter.com/1SiLy6tiWY
— Aaron Stewart-Ahn (@somebadideas) February 18, 2021
Ted Cruz right now pic.twitter.com/kyJcMhTjC8
— Biden-Harris Malarkey Defense (@BidenHarrisBro) February 18, 2021
A lot of people made memes about one specific joke from The Simpsons involving a politician taking an ill-timed vacation.
Ted Cruz making a video statement later today pic.twitter.com/65xZcUG5bz
— Declan Cashin (@Tweet_Dec) February 18, 2021
Ted Cruz’s statement tomorrow pic.twitter.com/IsyIfwyv24
— Nick Ross (@NickBossRoss) February 18, 2021
Ted Cruz assuring the people of Texas he is not in Cancun pic.twitter.com/AOYbwOWoLL
— NUMBER JUAN ???????????????? (@JUANLAUGHINGATU) February 18, 2021
So many people made that joke, in fact, that Simpsons meme master Dave Itzkoff of the New York Times tweeted out a disclaimer about it.
live look at Simpsons meme control: pic.twitter.com/QEbKEANp6z
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) February 18, 2021
But not without tweeting his own relevant Simpsons meme, of course.
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) February 18, 2021
People also reached for other movies and shows, of course, with options such as Trading Places, Netflix’s Don’t F**k With Cats, and RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Texans freezing to death
Ted Cruz: pic.twitter.com/iMzXCTwORK
— Nach (@NACHO2813) February 18, 2021
"Ted Cruz may have went to Cancun "
— alex (@alex_abads) February 18, 2021
Ted Cruz flying to Cancun while his constituents freeze to death in Texas pic.twitter.com/zUZGYqrD31
— Nico Correia (@notn1co) February 18, 2021
Another popular mode was photoshopping a travel-bound Ted Cruz into disasters throughout history, both PR disasters and otherwise.
Playa del Bad Ideas. pic.twitter.com/7EPMS2NFTY
— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) February 18, 2021
Ted Cruz. Normandy. pic.twitter.com/XTjxaRNksk
— raf (@rafaelshimunov) February 18, 2021
Ted Cruz at Pearl Harbor. pic.twitter.com/tUqmUZnfYp
— Digitized.eth (@adamfwoods) February 18, 2021
Me seeing pictures of Ted Cruz boarding a flight to Cancun: pic.twitter.com/CepwBohWIu
— Sam Stryker (@sbstryker) February 18, 2021
Ted Cruz's statement regarding claims he is in Cancun: pic.twitter.com/Q2pmn8zusn
— Thor Benson (@thor_benson) February 18, 2021
As funny as the whole Ted Cruz mess is, however, there is nothing funny about the people who are currently suffering in Texas. Here are six ways to consider helping them.