United States Supreme Court nomination hearings are a spectacle like few others in American politics. While many participate in good faith, some politicians use the hearings to bolster their public profiles with grandstanding and, as Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) described it on Wednesday, “jackassery.”
It seems Cruz couldn’t wait until the hearing ended to find out how social media was reacting to his performance on Wednesday, which included fighting with the Senate Judiciary Chair, demanding that Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson define what a woman is, and continuing to harp on Jackson’s record on child porn cases.
A photo of Cruz looking at his phone began circulating Wednesday afternoon. Los Angeles Times reporter Nolan D. McCaskill noted that Cruz appeared to be looking himself up on Twitter. His colleague at the Times, photographer Kent Nishimura who was positioned behind Cruz, confirmed it.
“He was searching Twitter for his name, this was right after his exchange with Chairman [Dick] Durbin [D-Ill.],” Nishimura tweeted.
Twitter was in turns amused and disgusted.
Insults and jokes flooded the timeline.
Some felt that it was disrespectful to the hearings.
“If they can’t take the judiciary process seriously, they shouldn’t be on the committee,” tweeted one.
“Are we sure he wasn’t looking at flight prices to Cancun?” said @JuanSaaa.
Twitter user @Rschooley made something of a meta observation, tweeting, “Do you think when Cruz was searching Twitter for his name he came across tweets about him searching Twitter for his name?”
Jackson’s confirmation hearings continue Thursday.