Dear Senator Cruz: Can You Hook Me Up?

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Dear Senator Cruz,                                                                                                   January 12, 2016

I’m writing to inquire about the availability of your seat at tonight’s State of the Union address. Specifically, I would like to offer myself as your representative this evening as I understand that you will not be in attendance. I was so sorry to hear that you will not be able to represent our state tonight. But like any self-respecting Texan, I know there’s never a problem that we can’t solve through an incredible over-estimation of our individual self-worth.  I immediately thought, “Here’s what I can do: I’ll write Senator Cruz and offer to do the job for him! Then he can just stay in Iowa and talk about contraception or spankings or whatever new kinky thing he’s into these days, and I can witness history. Let’s do this thing!”

I realize that this is very short notice, since the speech is in eight hours, but I respectfully request an answer within 30 minutes. I will check for your reply while on route from my house to Austin Bergstrom Airport (but only when I’m at a red light!). The great news is there are still seats on the 1pm American Airlines flight to DFW, with a connecting flight to Reagan DCA that gets in at 7pm! Sorry to pick American over Southwest, but it’s one of those you-can-only-get-to-BWI-before-Obama-enters-the-building and we all know what a nightmare it can be to be stuck in Beltway rush hour traffic. Better safe than sorry, right? I mean, this is the 44th President’s final State of the Union Address which promises to be a real roof raiser. Given the fact that he cried the other day (at least that’s how it looked to me), who knows what he’ll do tonight? I’m thinking he just wears the Spidey suit and puts the rumors to rest for once and for all.

I realize that there is a fair amount of protocol involved in these things. I actually had the privilege of attending a joint session of Congress to hear Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko in September 2014. (Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure you weren’t able to make that one either.) Anyway, I know there’s a right way and a wrong way to do these things. So, I called my congressman’s office this morning to see if there was a chance that I could use his seat. Unfortunately, Congressman McCaul will attend the State of the Union. Not sure if that’s related to his chairmanship of the House Committee on Homeland Security or if he really just loves the chance to sit down and not clap, but his seat is out. Ditto for Senator Cornyn, whose Austin staffer kindly verified for me that our very own Majority Whip will be there tonight. While I appreciated his original reply to my question, which went something like, “I cannot imagine any circumstance under which the senator would not be there,” it was great to hear back that it was more than a hunch–Senator Cornyn will be there.

Last thing: there’s a pretty big rumor going around that you’re not going because your fellow senators don’t want you there. I know how much that must hurt. I experienced a lot of peer rejection in seventh grade that still makes me nervous when I think about it and probably contributes to some of my free-floating anxiety. Not as much as the general powerlessness I experience daily as a Texas Democrat, but this is not about me. Let me just say: if you don’t feel comfortable with those mean senators, don’t feel like you have to engage with them. Take care of yourself. Be true to yourself. I am happy to represent our state on your behalf. I have a Texas flag lapel pin, and there’s even an antique Stetson in my closet that I’d be happy to wear, if you think that would make the right impression. And I’m pretty sure there’s a whole crew of lady senators who would be really excited if I was sitting in your seat. I’m thinking of the ones from New York, California, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland, Washington, Wisconsin, Missouri, Hawaii, and New Hampshire (at least one of them). And I could probably go over and have a little Princeton reunion with Justices Kagan and Sotomayor on your behalf, something I’m not sure you can do on your own (although I bet you and Justice Alito have a little Tiger fist bump whenever possible).

I’m so excited. Thank you so much for this once in a lifetime opportunity to represent the people of Texas. I’m humbled to join the ranks of the extraordinary Texans who will be in attendance, especially Major Lisa Jaster, the first female Army Reserve officer to graduate from the U.S. Army’s Ranger School. I really want to meet her! Thanks again for getting back to me in, let’s say, 28 minutes.


Lize Burr




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