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Cruising Along with Ted Cruz

Jim Hightower on

A Republican senator once tried excusing the egomaniacal right-wing nastiness of his colleague, Ted Cruz, declaring, "Sometimes Ted is his own worst enemy." I said to myself: "Not while I'm alive he's not."

But now, I'm reassessing, because Cruz keeps descending deeper into self-pity and self-destruction. For example, he's recently been trying to gut a consumer-friendly rule requiring airlines to make automatic, hassle-free refunds to passengers when their flights are unduly delayed or cancelled. However, kissing up to his airline political donors, Ted's amendment would put the hassle back in refunds, requiring abused passengers to file written requests to the various impenetrable corporate bureaucracies of airlines to get their money back -- maybe ... someday.

In fairness, though, Cruz has been working hard to make air travel much easier for one class of travelers: U.S. senators and House members, plus their staffs and families! He wants to make us common taxpayers fund "airport security escorts" for him and other privileged ones, moving them ahead of everyone and zipping them through the screening and boarding process. This, Ted explained, will help in "keeping the flying public safe."

He really means keeping the public from seeing or interacting at airports with public officials like him. You might recall that, while hundreds of Texans were literally dying during the state's power grid's failure in 2021's calamitous deep freeze, Ted was photographed in tropical attire at Houston's airport, waiting to board a flight to Cancun, fleeing the cold and his constituents. By getting special airport escorts, though, so-called public servants like Cruz won't be exposed to public view.

Hello -- of all the public needs crying out today for taxpayer funding -- where would you rank providing an airport escort for Ted Cruz?

HOW SILLY CAN RIGHT-WING CULTURE WARRIORS GET?

If you're wondering whatever happened to Ron DeSantis, he's now re-ensconced in Florida ... goofier than ever.

Last year, backed by a covey of billionaires, Gov. Ron was all set to be our next president until national voters discovered he has the personality of a dirt clod and the political sensibility of a tin-pot totalitarian.

 

Even in the GOP primaries, most voters gagged at his ruthless anti-abortion absolutism, his "Fahrenheit 451" book bans, his vigilante rampages against local librarians, his dictate that textbooks whitewash American history, his cruel toying with desperate asylum seekers and so awful much more.

Thus, the Potentate of Tallahassee limped back home. But far from chastened, Ron has doubled down on political goofiness, frittering away his remaining prestige and gubernatorial credibility on right-wing hokum. For example, he has banned the sale of alternative meat products in Florida. Also, in a bizarre commandment he calls "Freedom Summer," he has decreed that Florida's bridges can only be lit up in hues of red, white and blue -- no "liberal" colors like green or purple.

His latest tilt-at-windmills stunt is to repeal state efforts to fight climate change! He's reversing state policies encouraging agencies to switch to electric vehicles, prohibiting several wind and solar-powered projects, and eliminating state incentives for energy-efficient homes. As sea levels rise all around Florida -- flooding its coastal cities -- DeSantis rants against "the agenda of radical green zealots," maniacally declaring: "We're restoring sanity" to energy policy.

If Republican Party strategists wonder why voters think the GOP has gone nuts, look no further than Florida's authoritarian governor, who's busy dictating people's meat choices -- and the color of bridges -- while his state sinks into the sea.

To find out more about Jim Hightower and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

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