There were the Montagues and the Capulets; Brand New and Taking Back Sunday; the black and blue dress people and the white and gold dress people. And in the first few weeks of 2021, there was Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and actor, writer, and oh-so proud Canadian, Seth Rogan.
At this point, as far as Twitter feuds go, a politician who proudly supports the man who called his wife ugly and the star of Pineapple Express going tit for tat is far from surprising. What is a-typical, however, is how long the two have allowed this social media beef to continue. Since Inauguration Day, it seems that the disgraced senator and comedian have been exchanging “pleasantries” online — quote tweeting one another with reckless abandon and sending more than a few four-letter words of, shall we say, “encouragement” their foe’s way.
It all started when Cruz tweeted in opposition of President Joe Biden’s decision to have the U.S. rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, in which the senator criticized Biden for being “more interested in the views of the citizens of Paris than in the jobs of the citizens of Pittsburgh.” (It should be noted that the Paris Climate Agreement does not just impact people who live in Paris, and the mayor of Pittsburgh wrote a joint opinion article with the mayor of Paris for The New York Times after former president Donald Trump pit the two cities "against each other other.”)
Rogen’s response? “F*ck off you fascist.”
Whether Cruz takes issues with brevity, or is so thin-skinned all it takes is four words from a celebrity to send him spiraling, remains to be seen. But Rogen’s tweet sparked a days’ long, ongoing feud that, for now, shows no signs of slowing down. At one point, Cruz shared that Disney’s Fantasia was the first movie he watched in theaters. Rogen replied, “Everyone who made that film would hate you.” On Jan. 24, Rogen tweeted, “All jokes aside, @tedcruz is a fascist piece of sh*t.” Cruz then quote-tweeted Rogen, writing, “All jokes aside, @Sethroegn is a moron” before throwing in a “cancel culture” reference for good measure.
Behold, some receipts:
While there’s no denying the guilty pleasure of a good old fashioned Twitter beef, it’s important to note that Cruz is an elected official tasked with picking up the pieces of a violent insurrection he provoked, protecting the American people from a deadly virus that, to date, has killed more than 400,000 Americans, and lessening the blow of a historic recession that has left nearly half of all Americans without a job. The fact that he has time to volley with a well-known actor is not just surprising — it’s damning. Unless, of course, paying attention to Twitter instead of the myriad of issues facing the public is a calculated decision on behalf of Cruz.
Enter: Beto O’Rourke. Because, no, this Twitter beef just wasn’t weird enough.
O’Rourke, who ran against Cruz in 2018, weighed in on Cruz’s Twitter troubles, tweeting, “Why does he keep this fight going with Seth Rogen even though he’s getting destroyed at every turn? Because he’s guilty of sedition. He’s hoping distraction & time diminish the urgency of accountability. Don’t let him change the channel or the subject, it is sedition every time.”
Whether Cruz is just a glutton for public punishment — lest we forget his personal Twitter account liking porn tweets — or is just hoping the American public really are as short-sided as he seems to believe, one thing is certain: he is no stranger to being called out by prominent members of the public. Everyone from NBA coach Steve Kerr and climate activist Greta Thunberg, to actors Ron Perlman and George Clooney have denounced, made fun of, or otherwise taunted Cruz — oftentimes on more than one occasion. And Cruz, for all his baseless pontificating about “unity” and the need to “rise above petty partisan politics” seems to revel every minute of it and the car crash-like attention his public feuds inspire.