Three Things: Brilliant Opportunities Disguised

[NB: check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

At this site we tend to get caught up in the excruciatingly massive tarball that is Donald Trump – the conspiracy to unlawfully aid his 2016 election, his craptastically corrupt and fascistic tenure in the White House, and his ongoing effort to destabilize this country including the rolling insurrection punctuated by January 6.

But Trump is a tarball not only for this site and the American left. He’s a sticky mess tainting right-wing politics in so many ways having opened the door to the right-wing’s worst impulses.

You’d think the folks who identify themselves as conservatives would have clued in by now and begun to deal with the toxic waste Trump represents to the GOP’s future.

Former Chrysler CEO Lee Iococca once said, “We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluable problems.”

Hello, GOP. You could fix your insoluable problems if you quit being bigots and pulled your heads out of your asses.

In the mean time we’re going to look at these as great opportunities demonstrating the Republicans’ inability to govern themselves let alone the entirety of any one community, state, or this nation.

~ 3 ~

This is what came up yesterday afternoon in Google News for Top News about the Florida GOP:

Here are the top four stories which surface in Google News this evening about the Florida GOP.

They’re not about Ron DeSantis, the state’s governor and current presidential candidate, at least not directly.

Not about any other GOP elected official or candidate.

Not related any court case related to Florida legislation.

Nope, it’s just another sex scandal this time involving a prominent member of Klanned Karenhood, I mean, Moms for Liberty and the head of the Florida GOP – a husband and wife couple who swing.

Apparently the husband and head of FL-GOP Christian Ziegler has a wee problem with consent.

The entire GOP has a problem with consent as Trump has demonstrated repeatedly, but this particular problem will likely result in criminal charges for rape and/or sexual battery in Florida.

The most galling part of this scandal is another layer of obnoxious fascist hypocrisy foisted on us by swinging spouse Bridget Ziegler was responsible in a big way for the infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill foisted on Floridians.

Both Zieglers have been influential in Florida politics, especially after disagreements during the COVID pandemic led to a wave of conservative activism in schools. Bridget Ziegler helped draft the original bill in 2019 that later became the Parental Rights in Education Act after the Sarasota School Board — wrongly, in her opinion — approved guidelines that would make it optional for school officials to tell parents of elementary school children if they requested to go by a different pronoun. Previously she had spoken out against transgender students using restrooms that matched their gender identities.

When DeSantis signed the bill, which prohibits the mention of gender identity and sexual orientation, bans discussions that aren’t “age-appropriate” without defining what that means, and allows any parent to sue a school district over teaching they don’t like with the district paying the bill, Ziegler was standing behind him. The anti-mask-and-COVID-vaccine movement, combined with what critics called the “Don’t Say Gay” law, kicked off DeSantis’ campaign to eradicate “wokeness” and seemingly any acknowledgment of gender identity, sexuality and the racial issues mistakenly called critical race theory from the state.

Her husband went to the victim’s residence uninvited and allegedly raped her after the victim had backed out of another planned sexual encounter because the victim was only it it for Bridget.

In other words, the bill was intended to prevent young people from engaging in their First Amendment rights to discuss political figures like Bridget Ziegler having gay sex.

We know that the authoritarian personalities who make up much of the GOP’s base are immune to the shaming and blind to their hypocrisy about law and order or personal freedom – in this case, the freedom of a woman to say no to sex, or young people’s freedom to talk about their sexuality.

But it’s ridiculous for the GOP to expect Americans to trust them when they break the law while caring little for the fallout. They refuse to discipline themselves or their own party.’

~ 2 ~

Speaking of discipline, the Michigan GOP is a total shit show – one like January 6, in fact.

Half of the MIGOP has broken away in an insurrection against its own party leadership, doing so in a way which denied the just-less-than-half of the party aligned with current party chair and Trumper Kristina Karamo from having a quorum to conduct business.

The breakaway faction wants to kick Karamo to the curb. It’s not clear exactly what triggered their revolt but Karamo has been a crappy manager of the state party’s fundraising and organization.

More than one meeting under Karamo’s reign has resulted in physical altercations between party members.

MIGOP is also flirting with the bottom of its bank account. This past August its state central committee voted to assess party delegates a registration fee.

Big money donors have been thin on the ground; the Trumper who ran for state attorney general, Matt DePerno, bad mouthed them calling them “sore losers” though the big money was not happy pitching money toward an organization still in Trump’s thrall.

You’ll recall DePerno, who ran unsuccessfully for state attorney general in 2022, was investigated and indicted on four charges: undue possession of a voting machine, conspiracy to commit undue possession of a voting machine, conspiracy to commit unauthorized access to a computer or computer system and willfully damaging a voting machine in rural Roscommon, Barry and Missaukee counties.

The incredibly stupid and obvious fact – I cannot emphasize this enough, STUPID and OBVIOUS – about these three counties is that they are hard core GOP. They would not have flipped for Biden and didn’t in 2020, with Missaukee voting 76% and the other two counties hitting the mid-60 percentile for Trump.

Gee, I can’t understand why big donors aren’t throwing money at the MIGOP these days when they have such geniuses representing the party.

Somebody somewhere IS throwing money at defeating a Democrat in this state — like whoever is financing the PAC America Rising. They just aren’t donating to the MIGOP and they’re looking at something other than races in 2024 when they’re funding opposition research to spy on Governor Gretchen Whitmer who is now term limited after winning re-election in 2022.

Why don’t the donors funding a spy – willing to climb a slope approaching the governor’s summer residence this year, risking arrest to obtain photos of the governor and possible guests – doing this through the MIGOP?

~ 1 ~

Lack of personal and party discipline.

Lack of smarts, leadership, and management skills.

That’s the GOP today, as the state party apparatus has demonstrated in Florida and Michigan.

Texas doesn’t want to be left out, though. The Texas GOP is unable to give the heave-ho to Nazis.

You’d think Elon Musk was the TX-GOP party chair given the welcome mat they’ve left out for white supremacist Nick Fuentes.

The TX-GOP party chair Matt Rinaldi is directly involved as he was photographed entering Pale Horse Strategies, a far-right political consulting firm on October 6, as were the consulting firm’s president and other noted far-right political figures.

And of course the party apparatus handled the situation poorly, putting the entire state party on record as being anti-Semitic:

Two months after a prominent conservative activist and fundraiser was caught hosting white supremacist Nick Fuentes, leaders of the Republican Party of Texas have voted against barring the party from associating with known Nazi sympathizers and Holocaust deniers.

In a 32-29 vote on Saturday, members of the Texas GOP’s executive committee stripped a pro-Israel resolution of a clause that would have included the ban. In a separate move that stunned some members, roughly half of the board also tried to prevent a record of their vote from being kept.

Big donors may have a problem with this situation; billionaire Tim Dunn called it a “serious blunder,” which may pan out in the form of rejiggered donations bypassing the TX-GOP and going instead to other groups or to candidates.

But you can bet some news outlet will point out how the failings of the state GOP parties in these three states — which combined represent 85 electoral votes in the 2024 election — are somehow bad news for Joe Biden, and not the brilliant opportunities they represent for Democrats.

~ 0 ~

This is an open thread. Let’s fucking go!

67 replies
  1. Rayne says:

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    • Rayne says:

      IKR? Lower than a snake’s belly when in the middle of a foreign and domestic policy crisis they can’t even unify to say “We reject anti-Semitism and Nazis.”

      Not a valid functional political party.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        The really sad thing about the “don’t associate with antisemites and Nazis” is the people pushing that don’t actually avoid those associations. They just do it secretly and wanted to embarrass the guy who got caught meeting with Fuentes.

    • KittyRehn says:

      I was doing some reading about the impeachment of Ken Paxton over the summer and it had me absolutely floored. He was acquitted, but between him and Abbott… I’m sure glad I don’t live in Texas. I’m not sure what’d do me in first, trying to keep up with the gong show politics or the heat.

  2. BobBobCon says:

    Minnesota is another archetypal Midwestern state that has been giving the GOP fits, and the reaction of a lot of hack NYC and DC reporters has been to delete them from their narratives.

    They did a field trip back in 2011 flying into MSP at 10 a.m. and back out at 6 p.m. and as far as they’re concerned, that makes them an expert. They vaguely remember Michelle Bachman and Mary Tyler Moore, and that gives them all they need for a decade of patronizing takes.

    • Rayne says:

      To be fair, MN-01, -06, -07, -08 are pretty predictably rural red. Peterson carrying -07 as long as he did was a bit of an outlier, always a potential monkey wrench like Joe Manchin in the Senate.

      • BobBobCon says:

        I completely agree that there are deep red parts of the state. But I also guarantee that there is no way someone like Jeremy Peters or Oeter Baker could possibly get their head around the fact that there are plenty of voters in Duluth who have just as valid intellectual reasons for rejecting the GOP as the NYC elites they socialize with. Probably more so.

        • Rayne says:

          The largest employers by industry being health care, education, and government, Duluth could move more left. But the district may have been gerrymandered to offset that — sure looks like it when state legislative seats are held by DFL but House district is GOP.

  3. klynn says:

    Just read ABC News’ social media coverage of Speaker Johnson stating, “Mike Johnson said Tuesday he was blurring the complete surveillance footage from the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in order to protect participants from being charged by law enforcement — a statement soon reversed by a spokesman.

    “We have to blur some of the faces of persons who participated in the events of that day because we don’t want them to be retaliated against and to be charged by the DOJ,” Johnson, who joined some other Republicans in seeking to overturn Trump’s 2020 election defeat, said at a press conference.

    Federal investigators have possessed the footage from that day for nearly three years and have used it to help identify suspects in the riot, sometimes with the public’s help.”

    A commenter replied:
    Way to circumvent the Law… He is the voice of anarchy suggesting violators be shielded from prosecution…

    • bmaz says:

      Lol, this is not an issue, the government has had this. It only serves to demonstrate what an out of his league idiot Johnson is.

      • Peterr says:

        His statement, though, suggests he didn’t know that the DOJ already had this, and that he was fine with ordering destruction of evidence.

        It might not be an issue for tracking down those who stormed the Capitol, but it does look like it might be an issue for Johnson.

        • dopefish says:

          It also might indicate that it was virtue signalling to idiot MAGA followers, and he knew all along that it wasn’t going to have any effect on gov’t cases… but maybe that’s giving him and his staffers too much credit, as they apparently didn’t notice that if it *were* successful it would be blatant obstruction of justice.

      • BobBobCon says:

        I am gobsmacked that the Josh Kraushaar and Jake Sherman types have been treating Johnson as an even mildly competent person.

        The smart move as far as their careers would be to start pushing the trainwreck narrative now, instead of risking someone else getting the scoops. But there are a lot of really incompetent reporters around Johnson right now.

      • rattlemullet says:

        Idiot is being kind, this guy is a backwater religious ideologue. Most of his colleagues who voted him speaker barely knew him. He is a mental midget trying to fill the shoes of the last great speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi, to think he is second in line of succession to the presidency is horrifying.

          • LaMissy! says:

            Gotta love the conceit that Carvill is a professor who’s just asking questions, not making accusations; echoes of Tucker. That and his observation that Young Earthers can’t also believe in fossil fuels.

      • Dmbeaster says:

        Even though the DOJ has the tapes, a lot of people are unidentified. Public exposure of tapes can result and has resulted in citizens providing identification of some January 6ers. Blurring faces prevents identification by such people.

        It makes a difference.

          • Michael Coughlan says:

            “We’re going to blur out their faces so the DOJ doesn’t go after them…”

            On it’s face that is a clear attempt to obstruct the work of law enforcement. Full stop.

            One can argue it’s meaningless as the DOJ posses the original footage, but in the court of public opinion he’s guilty as hell. And that court matters most.

            We all know that such lawlessness is a feature in the GOP, not a bug. But it’s also the feature that cost them AZ, WI, MI, and arguably the White House.

            We need to club them over the head with this.

            [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. /~Rayne]

            • bmaz says:

              Who are “we” Kemosabe?

              “On it’s face that is a clear attempt to obstruct the work of law enforcement. Full stop.

              Baloney. At best it is obstruction of the public clamor. It absolutely is not per se obstruction of justice criminally.

    • scroogemcduck says:

      The party of Hunter’s wang suddenly claiming to be concerned about violating the privacy rights of American citizens would be a joke, if it was remotely funny.

    • ToldainDarkwater says:

      Let me demur insofar as I think Speaker Johnson knew all about how law enforcement has had these tapes, and was performing for the rubes. I think the face blurring is there to protect people politically.

      He may or may not be over his head, but he really does not seem dumb to me. His chief skill appears to be not getting pinned down, which should serve him well in his current role.

      • bmaz says:

        All he is obstructing is public knowledge and perhaps citizen sleuths like the Sedition Hunters. But it is not obstruction of justice per se.

      • Michael Coughlan says:

        These are not smart people. Why did he put himself in that situation!? There are far better ways to pander to the MAGA.

        If I were a J6 simp I’d be yelling at the TV that it’s all too little too late.

        Meanwhile it’s the perfect sound byte to keep the insurrection in the voters minds.

  4. Peterr says:

    The Zieglers are a real piece of work. Declaring war on school libraries for having LGBTQ-friendly books on the shelves while throupling takes a lot of . . . something.

    I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you . . .

    • Rayne says:

      I wish I could talk to some older high school students in Florida and ask them what they think of this Ziegler bullshit. Almost wish I could break my personal ethic to look on TikTok for their opinions but I can’t bring myself to do it.

      After all the frustrated protesting Florida students did against “Don’t Say Gay” bill…ugh.

      • Peterr says:

        As any teen can tell you, parents exist to embarrass their children. I don’t think the Ziegler’s kids are teens yet, but the level of embarrassment they have to be dealing with has got to be off the charts.

      • kmlisle_1 says:

        There is a documentary out there about banned books that interviews children about how the bans affect them. Its called the ABCs of Book Banning. I believe it interviews younger children but the trailer I have seen was pretty powerful.
        Luckily there are a lot of alternative ways for older children to access banned books. Florida public libraries are not included in the law (so far) and large public libraries around the country (Brooklyn, NYC. LA etc) are offering free online library cards to teens which lists of banned eBooks available to check out for free.

    • ExRacerX says:

      “Declaring war on school libraries for having LGBTQ-friendly books on the shelves while throupling takes a lot of . . . ”


  5. punaise says:

    Ziegler Follies: the hypocrisy reminds me of the youngish bible-thumper Ted Haggard from CO back in the Bush era I think. Gay hookers, drugs, the whole shebang. Part of the story was him furtively disposing of some crank in a garbage can. My comment at the time at ole’ FireDogLake: “There’s a Meth-Thud to his Man-ness”

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Follies in alpha order:

      Bridget Ziegler –
      Wife of Christian and a Moms for Liberty member who helped initiate “Don’t Say Gay” bill while in a clandestine relationship with a woman.

      Christian Ziegler –
      Husband of Bridget and head of FL-GOP who participated in threesome with Bridget and later was accused of sexually assaulting the other woman. A Christian or not a Christian, that is the question. He may want to confer with Matt Schlapp.

      Garrett Ziegler –
      Sued by Hunter Biden for illegally accessing and disseminating private data and conducting a vicious partisan smear campaign based on innuendo, false assertions and manipulated data.

      Joseph Ziegler –
      IRS agent who represented his dubious personal opinions about his supervisors and about Hunter Biden to Congress.

      Ron Ziegler –
      Nixon’s White House Press Secretary. From his wiki: “The hiring of Ziegler was seen by many, and later confirmed by Haldeman himself, as a cog in Nixon’s plan to undermine the press…”

  6. elcajon64 says:

    “Klanned Karenhood” is the best thing I’ve heard in the past 72 hours. By the time anyone sees this, it’s been shared several dozen times.

  7. Narpington says:

    Bridget Ziegler has announced that she’s renaming Moms for Liberty to Moms for Threesomes and looking for hot donations on OnlyGOPFans.

    WaPo story from a couple of weeks ago detailing GOP splits in Arizona, Michigan and Georgia:

    MAGA-dominated state Republican parties plagued by infighting, money woes

    GOP now more reluctant to give less money to states:

    Donations to GOP drop as worries mount about the party’s finances

  8. scroogemcduck says:

    Not all Republicans who make a career from trying to police other people’s fun-times are hypocritical “perverts”, but all hypocritical “perverts” who try to make a career out of policing everyone else’s fun-times are Republicans.

  9. rattlemullet says:

    The GOP, after TFG, is nothing more than the spilled out contents of Pandoras Box. It has become the refuge of pedophiles, bigots, sexual weirdos, money grubbers, losers, wanna be strong men and vanity seekers. They have no idea how to govern or what the words common good mean and are in fact actively try destroy any concept of the term. The GOP started to self destruct when the Dixiecrats left the Democratic Party and join the GOP and hit warp speed with the rise of the TFG.

  10. ToldainDarkwater says:

    I generally dislike using “hypocrite” as a pejorative. Living in a way that is absolutely consistent is in fact quite difficult. We humans are a bundle of contradictions.

    No, Bridget and Christian Ziegler are something much worse than hypocrites. They are liars. They are mendacious. They are predatory. They are bullies. There’s so much bad faith here it seems like Jita general chat in EVE Online (if you got that +++ to you. Suffice it to say that in-game scamming is an everyday pastime in that game.)

    “Hypocrite” is weak sauce for this sort of behavior.

  11. LaMissy! says:

    The schadenfreude re the Zieglers is richly deserved, but let’s remember the person at the center of the resultant circus: a woman who was raped and so afraid that she didn’t leave her house for two days after.

    As Susan Brownmiller convincingly laid out in her 1975 book, “Against Our Will”, rape is never about sex, but about power. That Christian (oh, the irony) Ziegler chose to exercise that kind of power against a woman he claims has been his “friend” for 20 years indicates he is unsuitable to have access to the levers of power. And yet, in today’s GOP, here he is, runnning the show in Florida.

  12. Nessnessess says:

    “Klanned Karenhood”

    This made my day! I’d never heard it before. It’s apparently been around for a while. A search brings up results going back to last spring — though google seems to be phasing out indicating the number of hits each search gets, a real disservice to its users.

  13. Molly Pitcher says:

    bmaz, Zack Ertz has just been cleared to sign with the Niners !! Should make and interesting bookend to Kittle, hahaha !

    • bmaz says:

      COOL! Ertz and Kittle, wow. FWIW, I think the Cardinals were giving Ertz mercy by cutting him, out of respect.

  14. OtherRealisms says:

    Current Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson said that once Rep. Kevin McCarthy was removed as Speaker of the House, God began to wake him up in the middle of the night “to speak to me, [telling me] to write things down; plans, procedures, and ideas on how we could pull the [Republican] conference together.”

    I’m sure that I am not the only one who is frightened and disturbed that the Speaker believes that God (the Almighty, the one, the only, Creator of the entire vast freakin’ Universe) speaks to him personally and chooses him to lead the Republican Party to Righteousness, much as his Lord chose Moses.

    [FYI – link edited to remove tracking. /~Rayne]

    • P J Evans says:

      I worry that so many of the Rs believe that their deity is talking to them directly. That’s not usual, even inside a cult, and makes me want to have every one of them given a thorough medical and mental evaluation. Drugs, disease, parasites, whatever – they’re not healthy people.

    • RipNoLonger says:

      Don’t believe everything that they excrete. To be in that group you have to be able to spout total crap.

    • Rayne says:

      What special kind of stupid does one have to be to videotape their criming?

      Still can’t believe this guy and his spouse were allowed to have so much influence over K-12 education and books in Florida.

Comments are closed.