Screenshot, Dallas Morning News video

The Freedom Saga of Texas hair salon owner Shelley Luther came to a triumphant finale today as Senator Ted Cruz (R-Alberta) dropped by Luther's newly-reopened salon to get in front of a camera to proclaim he loves freedom. Also he got a haircut. Luther, you'll recall, is that brave freedom fighter who became the latest rightwing Rosa Parks by ignoring Texas's public health orders. She was briefly jailed for contempt of court this week after ignoring a court order requiring businesses remain shut down, then freed yesterday when Governor Greg Abbott proclaimed no one could be arrested for violating the quarantine order he'd put in place.

Cruz, who usually likes blathering about "law and order," had hopped on Luther's cause as a way of drawing attention to himself, because what's more American than everyday folks breaking laws they don't like and politicians whoring after publicity? And gosh, what a brave man he is, willing to get a really shitty-looking haircut to prove his patriotism. For the sake of painstaking accuracy, we note that the haircut was perpetrated by another salon employee.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz gets haircut at Shelley Luther's salon

Cruz marked the occasion of his first haircut in months (really, that's why we're going to have a spike in COVID-19 deaths in a few weeks. For haircuts) with ceremonial argle and patriotic bargle, declaring Luther's Dallas salon, "À La Mode," the best little hair house in Texas.

CRUZ: What happened to her was wrong. It was ridiculous to see someone sentenced to seven days in jail for cutting hair. That's not right. That's not justice, and that's not Texas [If you are reading this in the gayest Tiger King accent possible, you are reading it correctly. -- Evan]


When she spoke up she wasn't just speaking up for herself, she wasn't just speaking up for her family. She wasn't even just speaking up for the women and men who work in her small business, she was speaking up for 29 million Texans across our state [...]

I got on a plane and I flew up from Houston. I needed a haircut anyway. And I figured that there wasn't a better place I could pick on the face of the planet to get a haircut this morning than right here.

Let's point out yet again that Luther was not sentenced to a week in jail for cutting hair, putting food on her family, or speaking up. She was charged with disregarding a legal quarantine order and the court orders enforcing it. But it's OK, because she's popular with the Right, so you won't be hearing about that from Ted Cruz, who loves law and order so much that he defended that cop who shot a black man in his own home.

And in fact, Cruz went out of his way to excoriate Judge Eric Moyé, who said he'd be willing to let Luther avoid jail if she apologized for disregarding the law, because Oh My God the Nerve Of That Black Judge:

CRUZ: I watched the exchange in court, where the judge demanded that she apologize to the elected officials for daring to open up her business. [Deep, dramatic, exasperated sigh that contained within it the wishes of a free people yearning to be free from oppression by the enemies of freedom] And I was disgusted by what I saw. In the United States, elected officials do not have the right to demand of citizens that they apologize for anything! That's not the way our system works!

Shame on Judge Moyé for emphasizing the rule of law over any one person's desire to not follow it. It's not like there was any reason for the stay-at-home order, after all.

Also, credit to the Dallas Morning News for noting that Cruz

sidestepped questions about what punishment he would view as appropriate for people who violate public safety measures during an epidemic, or how such measures can be effective if compliance is entirely voluntary.

Well maybe we don't need public health orders at all, did you communists ever think of that?

The important thing here is that Shelley Luther is open for business, and if this were a movie, the triumphant music would be swelling right now. If Texas's COVID-19 deaths spike down the road, maybe that'll be noted in a postscript in the credits, or not.

In conclusion, we'll just borrow a closing from Talking Points Memo, but with updated numbers: As of blogtime Friday, the Texas Department of State Health Services website tallies 36,609 reported COVID-19 cases in the state, with 1,743 Texans currently hospitalized for the disease, and 1,004 fatalities.

But the number of people going without haircuts is far higher, so all you get out there and be warriors for the economy, 'kay?


[TPM / Dallas Morning News]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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