It’s Okay, Folks — Ted Cruz Already Announced his Retirement Weeks Ago

(CNN)

Ted Cruz did not have a good week.

In the midst of a disaster gripping his home state (a situation you can help alleviate by donating here or here or here or here or here, or hell, by just streaming the good homie Anna Akana’s new album), the junior senator from the Lone Star State was captured on a plane bound for Cancun. Criticisms of Cruz taking an international vacation while his constituents were quite literally freezing to death write themselves, to say nothing of that whole “wall” business. And while a few people came to Cruz’ defense, arguing that there wasn’t anything he realistically could’ve done — a narrative that eternal GOP bugbear Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez neatly dismantled — the nearly-universal condemnations were swift, brutal, and largely justified.

(Except for Jimmy Kimmel’s. I’m sorry, but one of the highest tenets of Pickup Basketball Law is that if someone beats you one-on-one, you are indefinitely barred from talking trash about them in any context until you have reclaimed your honor. Pickup Basketball Law is absolute, it is unbiased, and it is unyielding.)

Predictably, Cruz’ misstep has led to calls for his resignation from the Senate, which, let’s face it, is not going to happen. If he wasn’t going to step down after the coup attempt on January 6th, he won’t step down over this. And besides, just because something is a bad look doesn’t make it illegal.

(If you think that’s a set-up for a slam on his beard, you’re wrong. I genuinely think it’s working for him.)

But more to the point, calls for Cruz’ resignation are wrong-footed because he already announced that he’s going to leave the Senate weeks ago. It’s wild for someone who isn’t a journalist to be breaking news as opposed to reacting to it, but if you don’t know, now you know: Ted Cruz will not be running for reelection to the US Senate in 2024. And it’s not because he’s going to be running for President; though he will almost certainly try, and almost certainly fail.

It’s because of this.

Your eyes do not deceive you, dear reader. A few weeks back, Sen. Cruz introduced legislation that would impose term limits on his fellow Congresspersons. Two six-year terms for Senators, and three two-year terms for House members. And while the bill was predictably dead on arrival, I’m not above acknowledging a good idea when I see it. As much as I disagree with Cruz on just about everything under the sun, he has a point.

While some people stay in politics because they’re good at it and do good in it, it’s a safe bet that most stay there because it’s good money. Really good money, if you can get it. Entrenched career politicians can stultify progress that the country desperately needs and that a new generation would usher in, and with all due respect to Thomas Jefferson, sometimes the tree of liberty doesn’t need to be watered with blood so much as re-soiled every once in a while.

And so, even though the bill didn’t and probably won’t pass, I fully expect Cruz to hold himself to this standard regardless. Given that he’s serving his second term as a Senator, no matter what happens in 2024, Ted Cruz will not run again.

Seriously, it’s Ted Cruz. He’s the constitutional conservative’s constitutional conservative. He’s argued cases before the Supreme Court, and was floated for a seat on the bench himself. He may be ambitious, but he is also an honorable man. We can most certainly trust him to keep his word, and to hold himself of his own accord to a standard he would need federal law to hold others to.

After all, it isn’t like Ted Cruz is the kind of man who would criticize someone for taking a vacation during a crisis years before doing so himself, right?

It isn’t like Ted Cruz is the kind of person who would call out a narcissistic serial philandering pathological liar for being a, well, “narcissistic serial philandering pathological liar,” only to turn around be that same NSP²L’s loyal soldier for four years, right?

It isn’t like Ted Cruz would weave a precedent out of thin air to justify keeping a Supreme Court seat open during an election year after Antonin Scalia’s death, then abandon that precedent only four years later after Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s, right?

It isn’t like Ted Cruz would style himself a champion for religious liberty, then turn right around and call for the police to “patrol and secure” Muslim neighborhoods, right?

It isn’t like Ted Cruz would use the fact that Republican officials led everyday Americans to believe that the 2020 election was illegitimate to justify his attempts to try and subvert it, right?

It isn’t as though Ted Cruz would issue a call for unity, and then dutifully line up to pay homage to a man who did more than almost anyone to poison the well of public discourse in America, right?

Hell, it isn’t like Ted Cruz would go after a political opponent for using a nickname to fit in, a concept with which both he and I are intimately familiar?

Surely not.

Because he’s Ted Cruz. He’s not like every other prototypical politician, who throws words like honor and faith and principle out into the air whenever it’s convenient, only to fold and equivocate under the slightest pressure.

No, no, Ted Cruz is a statesman.

So don’t worry, everyone. Love him or loathe him, you won’t have to leave him, because in less than four years, Ted Cruz will leave us.

Truly, another profile in courage.

Writer. Nerd. Shithole-American. A monster of many words trying to be a man of all of them.

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