I'm always glad when Mimi Swartz publishes an essay from Texas on The New York Times op-ed page.
Swartz, a Houston resident and executive editor of Texas Monthly magazine, writes mini-essays that touch upon personal experience to illuminate the state's curious blend of urban sophistication and anti-intellectual conservatism.
In a Times op-ed piece Tuesday, Swartz slams the despicable Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for advancing his political career by cynically appealing to the Republican Party's most primitive elements. Swartz emphasizes that Cruz's effort to attract Donald Trump's extremist followers clashes with Cruz's Ivy League education. "A thug in a sharp suit with an Ivy League degree is still a thug," Swartz concluded.
Along with Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, who also boasts of an elitist education, Cruz led Senate opposition to Joe Biden's certification as president. Their support of Trump's false claims of fraudulent voting led to last week's mob invasion of the U.S. Capitol.
Hawley in a notorious photo is shown raising his fist in support of the Trump supporters as they gathered to attack the Capitol while Congress was in session to accept Biden's electoral college victory.
After the riot, the Houston Chronicle called for Cruz to resign, and an effort is gaining force to remove him and Hawley from the Senate.
With their prestigious educations and analytical abilities, Hawley and Cruz might have formulated the philosophical basis for a new, more progressive Republican Party.
Instead, they seek political power by pandering to the party's reactionary, violent forces of racism and white supremacy.