Why That Salacious GOP Scandal In Florida Surprises Exactly Nobody

@FromaHarrop
Why That Salacious GOP Scandal In Florida Surprises Exactly Nobody

Bridget Ziegler, left, and husband Christian Ziegler

Supreme Court

Forgive us for not displaying shock that a Moms for Liberty co-founder and her husband apparently engaged in group sex. Or that sex partner No. 3 had accused Bridget Ziegler's husband, Christian, of raping her. Or that Christian Ziegler headed the Florida Republican Party. Or that Bridget was also a member of the Sarasota County School Board and Gov. Ron DeSantis put her on an oversight board to harass Disney.

You could set your clock by it.

The bigger surprise is always how groups like Moms for Liberty get away so long with attacking teachers. Sure, some educators have gone overboard on woke pedantry, but they remain pillars of civilization. School districts are hard-pressed to keep the good ones.

Moms for Liberty was really a front for Donald Trump, so it all fits in. Members posing in photos with Proud Boys was something of a giveaway. The true mission of this "parental rights group" was to scoop up cheap votes from parents genuinely concerned about their children's moral upbringing.

The Zieglers must have gotten a chuckle toying with the chumps as they frolicked in orgiastic style. For the record, Christian says he didn't rape the woman, though that denial doesn't seem to have gone far. The unnamed third wheel said she was willing to have sex with both Zieglers but not Christian alone. Christian apparently didn't like being thus restricted, and so, the woman said, he came uninvited to her apartment and sexually assaulted her.

Florida's Republican Party has stripped Ziegler of his chairmanship, with the vice chairman telling him, "You cannot morally lead the Republican Party forward."

Which could fool the rest of us. If sexual propriety of the old-school variety were really the heartfelt concern that morality-minded conservatives say it is, then they would not be voting for a twice-divorced libertine who arranged sex with a porn star while his third wife was pregnant.

"I think apologizing makes you weak," Christian said, parroting the master.

Without a doubt, the Moms' aggressive behavior at school board meetings earned them outsized attention in the media. And that lured exhibitionists to the mikes where they could abuse school administrators, treat teachers with insolence and flash their ignorance with that what-you-gonna-do-about-it attitude.

Some right-wing school board members in Temecula, a city in California's Riverside County, got their mugs on "Fox and Friends" after passing a resolution condemning "critical race theory." The interesting part was that CRT wasn't being taught in the Temecula public schools.

This parental rights business is polling poorly among independents, and some self-respecting Republicans. "We don't want culture wars," a parent who worked for Orange County Republicans told Politico. "We don't want Fox News appearances. Our schools are not ideological battlegrounds."

In 2021, Republican Glenn Youngkin was elected governor of mostly Democratic Virginia partly on a vow to ban the teaching of CRT. That virtually none of that was happening in Virginia public schools seemed to have escaped notice. The following year Democrats swept the state legislative elections. Abortion had overtaken CRT as a matter of voter concern.

At least one Moms for Liberty leader halfway defended Bridget by arguing that the Zieglers' romp was conducted in the privacy of the bedroom. She did have a point. Now extend that understanding to the LGBTQ groups the Moms made war on.

Must we feel sorry for the self-described cultural conservatives who got taken in by the Zieglers? No, their role in American politics is to play the dupe. Some other con artist is surely waiting in the wings to take over.

In July, Trump praised Moms for Liberty as a "grassroots juggernaut." We always knew they were his people, though never in ways we imagined.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

Reprinted with permission from Ceators.

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