After the most ill-advised vacation of all time, Ted Cruz is getting a warm welcome back to America from his colleagues in the Senate. NBC News reported that, on Wednesday morning, senators entered the Senate gym to find that someone had taped Ted Cruz photos and memes around the locker room. "Bienvenido de Nuevo, Ted!" read one message.
According to NBC, some of the memes showed Cruz walking through the airport in his Texas flag mask. Another depicted Cruz, tropical cocktail in hand, "dragging his luggage across an arctic landscape" in the direction of a popular Bernie Sanders meme.
The most intriguing part, however, is that the gym is only used by current and former senators. This means that at least one member of the U.S. Senate decided to print out memes and hang them around the locker room. NBC reported that they were taken down, and it is unknown whether Cruz saw the prank.
Apparently, Cruz is also ready to joke about his decision to flee the country during an unprecedented, deadly winter storm that devastated his home state. "Orlando is awesome!" he announced in a Friday stand-up routine (I mean, speech) at this year's Comic-Con For People Banned From Twitter (I mean, Conservative Political Action Conference). "It's not as nice as Cancún, but it's nice."
The memes are funny, but it's jarring to watch Cruz laugh and make light of his recent trip when, as of Wednesday, more than 20,000 Texans are still without running water. Cruz did admit that he "obviously" made a mistake, after first blaming his children and explaining that he was "trying to be a dad."
Texans might have power again, but Cruz's constituents are still struggling. In one county, more than 15 people died of hypothermia, and experts say that fixing the storm's damage will cost billions of dollars. Congressman Joaquin Castro is calling on utility companies to suspend autopay features, and Cruz's onetime opponent Beto O'Rourke is currently touring the state to help Texans who lost power and water.
Though Cruz might be aiming for self-awareness, his self-deprecating jokes aren't genuine pledges to help people, or even real apologies. Before Cancúngate, many people dug up one of Cruz's old tweets mocking California's power outages. "I got no defense," he wrote. "A blizzard strikes Texas & our state shuts down. Not good. Stay safe!" A day later, he flew out to Mexico.