Far Right Republican Moms Who Like to Party Hearty

by | Feb 3, 2024 | The Truscott Chronicles

Bridget Ziegler and Clarice Schillinger. Images: Facebook

Far Right Republican Moms Who Like to Party Hearty

by | Feb 3, 2024 | The Truscott Chronicles

Bridget Ziegler and Clarice Schillinger. Images: Facebook

Some members of the far right "parental rights" movement, self-styled morality police, show that hypocrisy appears to be a feature, not a bug in right-wing Republican politics.

Republished with permission from Lucian K. Truscott IV

Listen, if there is one thing you could accuse me of being libertarian about over the years, it was the right to do some partying. Hell, I can even remember the very first time I heard the Beastie Boys’ anthem, “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!) at a roller rink in Biloxi, Mississippi. I had taken my girlfriend’s younger brother to see a skate punk band he was a fan of, and the band played a cover of the Beastie Boys song, which was just then hitting the charts, playing on the radio about every fifteen minutes, and in regular rotation on MTV. The place went nuts, kids thrashing around the mosh pit and stage-diving. Every once in a while, a bleeding kid would be ejected from the mosh pit, collect himself, and dive straight back in.

The band, realizing the power of the song, kept playing it well past its three and a half minute length. I was in the back of the rink near the concessions, standing with a group of other adults, when I saw the rink owner or manager wildly making the cut it off motion with his finger across his throat, trying to get the band’s attention. When they either didn’t see him or ignored his importations, he got on the phone and was trying to call the local cops when the band finally started blasting another chunk of thrash-punk, and the mosh pit went back to a slightly less violent normal.

I had thought it was around the time of the Beastie Boys song that the word “party” started being used as a verb, but a quick look at The Internet revealed that the blues guitarist Elvin Bishop put out his classic, “Party ‘Till the Cows Come Home” on an album in 1969 or 1970, a song that leaves little to the imagination when describing what is meant by the word “party” used as a verb:

Kick out the windows bust down the doors
We’re drinking half gallons like never before
You gotta take off your shoes Mama let yourself go
Tonight we’re gonna let these good times roll
We’re gonna boogie till the rooster crows
We’re gonna party till the cows come home
Let it roll … Well, let it roll … Let it roll… Let it roll…

I’m certain you can fill in your own blanks when it comes to the role that “partying” played in your lives and the lives of us all. Copious quantities of alcohol and drugs were usually involved for many of us, along with loud rock and roll music and, shall we say, loose morals.

So, I must say it came as something of a surprise when news broke recently that two major figures in what is euphemistically called the parental rights movement that includes groups such as Moms for Liberty became embroiled in some pretty serious charges of partying a little too heartily, shall we say. One of them is Bridget Ziegler, the wife of former Florida Republican Party Chairman Christian Ziegler, who was a founder of Moms for Liberty, the far-right wing Christian group that has been running conservatives in school board elections around the country.

The other is Clarice Schillinger, a right-wing Republican former candidate for lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania from Bucks County who formed a parental rights PAC that “poured more than $800,000 into Pennsylvania school district races since 2021,” according to Phillyburbs.com, a website that covers local politics in the Philadelphia area. Schillinger’s group has backed school board candidates that oppose LGBTQ-friendly policies and the teaching of “woke” subjects such as Black history and sex education.

Bridget Ziegler’s name disappeared from the Moms For Liberty website as a founder when it became known that she and her husband had been engaged in three-way sex with a woman who ended up charging Mr. Ziegler with rape, charges which have been suspended while a police investigation continues into the couple. Christian Ziegler was recently ousted as Florida Republican Party Chairman after refusing to resign. Bridget Ziegler “vacated her position at the conservative non-profit Leadership Institute, where she trained conservative parents to run for school boards around the country,” according to the Florida Center for Government Accountability, which has covered the controversy since it broke late last year. Ziegler remains on the Sarasota County School Board, having refused to resign her seat.

This week, text messages between the Zieglers were revealed by police suggested that Christian Ziegler had been using his wife to “hunt” for female partners for more three-way sex escapades after the woman with whom they had partnered before refused a second encounter. The Florida Center for Government Accountability reported that “Christian further wrote to his wife that the woman ‘was an alcoholic, nice person with some issues’ but with ‘no drama,’ which ‘turns him on.’”

Bridget texted back to her husband that she was “worried that the woman was ‘going through some shit,’ and wrote that ‘she prefers confident empowered people,’” according to police reports. “I just don’t want to feel like we ever take advantage of anyone (I know it’s always been consensual) but she seems broken,” Bridget texted her husband. “I don’t know—that’s the vibe I pick up from her—and my nature is more likely to help her versus … ya know.”

On the East Coast, there is Clarice Schillinger, who is a big enough figure in the Republican Party that she gets invitations to pose for fan photographs with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago. She has just been charged with assault and serving alcohol to teenagers at a party she gave for her daughter’s 17th birthday. The details of the charges make it sound like the partying at the Schillinger house got just a tad out of control.

Teenagers at a recent court hearing testified that they had shared shots and a “beer bong” with Schillinger. When one teenage boy attempted to leave the party, Schillinger “allegedly grabbed him by the shirt and hit him multiple times with a closed fist around his chin and cheek,” according to Phillyburbs.com. Several teenagers testified that it was “common knowledge” that you could get alcohol at the Schillinger house, and that “you didn’t have to ask.” Another teenage boy testified that Clarice Schillinger had sat on his lap in a chair and told him, “You are my favorite.” He told a judge that the only way he could get away from her was by pleading that he had to go to the bathroom.

There was more testimony that when other teenagers wanted to leave, Schillinger, her mother, and her boyfriend began fighting with the kids, attempting to get them to stay in the house. At one point, Schillinger’s boyfriend put his fist through a wall and grabbed one of the teenage boys and slammed him into a wall.

Schillinger’s attorney has called his client “a law-abiding citizen” and a “dedicated public servant.” Schillinger has been released on bail on her own recognizance and a March 1 date has been set for a formal arraignment in the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas.

These are not the first, and they won’t be the last, cases of right-wing figures getting caught with their proverbial pants around their proverbial ankles who propound so-called family values that they demand be taught in public schools and support laws restricting the freedoms of LGBTQ people and criticize people who do not share their right wing evangelical Christian beliefs. As they say, hypocrisy appears to be a feature, not a bug in right-wing Republican politics. Reams of copy have been written about how right-wing Christians have happily thrown their support behind a twice-divorced serial sexual abuser.

Usually, the reason given is that Trump got them the Supreme Court that overturned Roe v Wade. It’s worse than that. They want what he’s got, an unfettered right to party, to get away with whatever they want to do with no consequences.

The problem is that okay for me but not for thee is part of the human condition. It’s easy to chortle at these hypocrites, but then popping up on my Facebook feed yesterday is nothing less than a suggestion that I might want to “friend” Anthony Weiner, and there will be more stories about the list of people who flew on Jeffrey Epstein’s plane.

It might be useful to remember as we look forward to the next nine months of trying to save our country that politics and morality mix uncomfortably when they mix at all.

Lucian K. Truscott IV

Lucian K. Truscott IV

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist and screenwriter. He has covered stories such as Watergate, the Stonewall riots and wars in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels and several unsuccessful motion pictures. He has three children, lives in rural Pennsylvania and spends his time Worrying About the State of Our Nation and madly scribbling in a so-far fruitless attempt to Make Things Better.

You can read Lucian Truscott's daily articles at luciantruscott.substack.com. We encourage our readers to get a subscription.
Subscribe for Updates!

Subscribe for Updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This