It’s been almost a year since Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) ill-fated flight to Cancun when he fled Texas in the middle of a historic storm that left millions of his constituents suffering from unprecedented freezing weather and resulted in over 200 deaths.
Texans were left ill-equipped to handle the severe weather, as blackouts began happening across the state and orders to boil water for consumption began to be issued as treatment plants lost electricity. Homes began to suffer strain under the dropping temperatures, with pipes bursting and infrastructure cracking under the pressure.
Much of the blame for Texas’ inability to prepare and react to this severe storm is rooted in the states’ radical deregulation of its energy grid and it being controlled by privatized companies that only care about maximizing profits. This leads to a lot of corners being cut when it comes to maintaining and updating the energy grid infrastructure.
You would think that after experiencing a storm like the one Texans had to endure in 2021, and knowing that climate change will make extreme weather events more likely, Texas would take steps to upgrade its energy system to be better equipped for this sort of scenario.
You would be wrong.
Even as his constituents were freezing and suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning from running cars and generators to stay indoors and warm, Republican Governor Greg Abbott went on Fox News to idiotically complain about wind turbines and solar power as a means to address the climate crisis. “This shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America,” Abbott told Sean Hannity.
As previously noted, Ted Cruz didn’t even try to make excuses and instead chose to flee with his family to the warm weather of Cancun, Mexico. He was recognized at the airport and photographs were posted on social media, with backlash so severe he was forced to fly back to Texas, where he quickly proceeded to throw his wife and family under the bus by preposterously claiming he was just accompanying them on the flight to Cancun and intended to fly back immediately.
Fast forward a year later and nearly 70,000 Texans are once again without power as freezing temperatures strain the power grid once again. Abbott went on television to quickly tamper down expectations for his performance managing this crisis, “No one can guarantee that there won’t be a ‘load shed event.’ But what we will work and strive to achieve, and what we’re prepared to achieve, is that the power is gonna stay on across the entire state,” said Abbott. Tell that to the 70,000 Texans who are now experiencing freezing temperatures.
This is what happens when you have political leadership that is completely sold out to corporate interest and feel like they have impunity from accountability. Ted Cruz cares so little about his embarrassing flight to Cancun in the middle of a statewide crisis, he actually joked about it on his Twitter account, posting, “Inflation is out of control”, and following it up by saying that “tickets to Cancun are up 32%!” This is how little respect this sitting U.S. Senator shows his constituents after 200 of them lost their lives during a crisis he attempted to flee.
Texans need to wake up and realize that these lying, sleazy, and corrupt Republican politicians clearly don’t have their interests in mind.
Thomas Kennedy is a Democratic National Committee member representing Florida. He tweets from @tomaskenn
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is a reported opinion columnist and roving correspondent. He's an elected member of the Democratic National Committee from Florida and a Director of Sunshine Agenda Inc. a government transparency nonprofit organization.