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Opinion: Ted Cruz is an embarrassment to Texas

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 45.3%. 2 min read.

Caught out at the airport--taking vacation in the midst of a pandemic and energy catastrophe in his home state--Cruz offered a callous example of how our state's conservatives try to avoid embarrassment by being slippery and disingenuous, writes Texan James Moore. Meanwhile, Texas's attitude toward government has become deadly.

Leander, Texas (CNN)Two images that have been circulating on social media capture the culture and government of Texas to a T.

One is a drone video showing Stateline Boulevard, the border road that divides the two cities of Texarkana, in Texas and Arkansas.

The Texas roadbed is buried in snow.

The other image is that of Ted Cruz, Texas' Republican junior senator, traveling to Cancún, Mexico on Wednesday, while millions of his constituents were freezing at home, many without power, water or food.

What's the matter with Texas?

Almost every conservative Texas politician elected in the modern era has won by running against perceived evils in Washington and Austin.

Texas's attitude toward government has become deadly.

Texas fancied itself as independent from the rest of the Union, so it built an electrical grid all its own.

We're Texas.

The Texas grid, operated by the ironically named Electric Reliability Council of Texas, (ERCOT) collapsed because it was not designed or equipped to handle extreme weather like the current deep freeze.

ERCOT supplies about 90% of the state's power, but does not pay plants to be on standby for emergencies, which means electricity prices can dramatically spike during peak demand.

Perhaps, their final thoughts were that they were grateful to Texas for the state's superior energy independence.

In Texas, we have learned never to expect much more than entertainment from our government and politicians.

Last August, Cruz boldly mocked California's electricity problems during their heatwave and fires, tweeting that the state was "unable to perform even the basic functions of civilization, like having reliable electricity. "

But Ted Cruz, as Texan Jimmie Dale Gilmore sings, is "just a wave, not the water. " The state's governmental infrastructure is over-populated with people who brag about a pay-as-you go government while avoiding political criticism by hiding taxes in bonded indebtedness approaching $60 billion.

To constrain Washington's reach in Texas, the past two governors have refused to expand Medicaid, which leaves about 5 million residents without health insurance, including an estimated 625,000 children.

And because conservatives have an aversion to an income tax, they have made Texas over-reliant on property taxes, unless, of course, you are a corporate interest looking for a handout or huge tax abatements.

But Cruz has shown how our state's conservatives avoid embarrassment by being slippery and disingenuous.

Caught out at the airport -- taking vacation in the midst of a pandemic and energy crisis in his home state -- Cruz later admitted to a mistake in judgment.

The people he left freezing in Texas were not.

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