Ted Cruz, in his surprisingly close Senate race against Beto O'Rourke, sparred Friday in the first of three debates with his opponent, who is his superior in every measurable way. Cruz, true to typical smarmy form, slammed the congressman for not treating respectfully enough the prized "off-duty cops who shoot black men in their own homes" demographic. Check out these words Cruz wrote down and memorized and then spoke out loud.

What happened to Mr. Jean was horrific. Nobody should be in their own home and shot and killed in their own home.

Gee thanks, Senator ... but why do I feel like a "but" is coming? Republicans always like to show their asses and add a "but" to almost sympathetic statements like this.

It was tragic. Now the officer as I understand it has contended it was a tragic mistake… She thought she was in her own apartment, she thought he was an intruder. Right now, today, I don't know what happened that evening. Congressman O'Rourke doesn't know what happened that evening. But he immediately called for firing the officer. I think that's a mistake

There it is. Okay, hurricanes are tragic. My 1990s Nino Brown haircut was tragic. Amber Guyger, however, intentionally killed Botham Jean because she was wrong about something latchkey kids get right every day. Cruz is trying the Dorothy Gale defense that Guyger got swept up in a twister with her gun Toto and landed on Jean. And now the wicked socialist of the left is out for blood and her cute new shoes. Beto is taking the more sensible approach that maybe an officer who commits multiple errors of fact that lead to the summary execution of an innocent man is not someone you want continuing to work in law enforcement or owning a gun or even finding her own apartment without help from a service animal. And it turns out that the Dallas Police Department agrees (at least with the first part).


At last black men in Dallas can literally rest easy in their homes. Police Chief Renee Hall is black, so she was caught between a racist system and a hard place when it came to handling this situation. I'm pleased with the outcome, but I also think the timing is a delightful chef kiss. Cruz dismisses calls for firing Guyger for a "mistake" on Friday and she's unemployed on Monday.

Cruz can't seem to catch any breaks in his efforts to politicize O'Rourke's human concern for Jean's needless death. Shortly after Friday's debate, Cruz tweeted a link to the video of O'Rourke speaking passionately to an enthusiastic crowd at Dallas's Good Street Baptist Church. It did not go as he might've hoped.

Yeah, this is that David French, the conservative senior writer of the National Review and current defender of Brett Kavanaugh of all people. He can go to bat for a guy accused of sexual assault but not Cruz? I know everyone hates the guy but damn! French was not alone among conservatives calling out Cruz's obvious (failed) race baiting. Jonah Goldberg, Joe Scarborough, Tom Nichols all looked askance at Cruz and then immediately went out to get new looking eyes.

Cruz isn't running against Maxine Waters. This is a white guy talking. People are going to listen. Cruz also has the political instincts of a (I hope) one-term senator who got trounced in the Bible Belt by a thrice-married New York real estate developer. It's not above Cruz to go low. He tried to scare Indiana primary voters over transgender people using the bathroom freely, and I guess now he's trying to scare white Texans with the chilling sight of cheering black people. "Maybe Beto is offering them lots of free stuff! That's what Tucker Carlson says makes them happy." But this was a video that Beto Boosters were already posting on YouTube with the title "Watch This!" A candidates's supporters might double down to defend a gaffe but they won't willingly help make it viral.

I've no idea what Cruz was thinking, but is it really too much to wish that both he and Guyger end this year without jobs?

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).

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