Even the presence of a frail, wheelchair-bound Bob Dole couldn't override the overwrought black-helicopter-conspiracists in the US Senate today. By a vote of 61-38, the Senate failed to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Disabled. Both Sessions & Shelby voted no . Big surprise, eh?
What issues drove the GOP grinches out of their lairs in the middle of the holiday season? Oh, the usual suspects: abortion, euthanasia, God, and national sovereignty. Oh, and because describing our efforts to the rest of the would would be, in the words of the National Review, self-abasement:
And we haven’t even started on how self-abasing it would be for the U.S. to comply with the treaty. Every four years, we would be required to put together an interagency report on our disability-rights record (a project that would cost millions), and also to send a delegation (usually of at least 20 people) to Geneva to appear before a panel of international disability-rights experts. Panels of this sort often vilify our country’s human-rights record, according to Groves. “I’ve attended these sessions,” he says. “They’re absolutely insulting.”
Holy Buckets Of Bunk Batman!
But the scary thing is that this "anti" screed is the sane one. At Wing Nut Daily (no link, y'all - use "the Google" if you're that curious), none other than GOP 2nd place finisher (and winner of the 2012 AL GOP presidential primary) Rick Santorum, was spreading the cockamamie conspiracy theory that the treaty would require medical personnel to let his 4 year old daughter, Bella, die because she's battling a rare genetic disorder.
Senator Mike Lee declared on the floor of the Senate that because the treaty says that those with disabilities should have "equal access to reproductive health care," then it will inexorably lead to .... abortion! Because every road on the GOP legislative map leads straight to our magic ladyparts, I guess.
Ahem... what is actually in the treaty?
- Article 16: Protection from exploitation, violence, & abuse.
- Article 19: Right to live independently and be included in the life of the community.
- Article 21: Freedom of expression, opinion, and access to information.
- Article 23: Respect for home and family.
Well. No wonder the GOP is opposed..... snark.....
The treaty was supported by a group of GOP stalwarts. Former Senator Bob Dole (who led the fight for the Americans with Disabilities Act) was on hand for the vote. Other supporters included Senator John McCain and the both Presidents Bush.
Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid issued this statement after the vote:
“It is a sad day when we cannot pass a treaty that simply brings the world up to the American standard for protecting people with disabilities because the Republican party is in thrall to extremists and ideologues. The United States is seen as a leader around the world. Today, we had a chance to lead, and we failed because a small group of Republican senators fear the Tea Party more than they care about equality for people with disabilities.
“Today’s vote wasn’t about Republicans or Democrats. It was about standing up for our heroes – men and women who risked their lives on the battlefield for the United States of America. This treaty was about 57 million Americans who live with a disability.
Republicans such as former President George H.W. Bush, Senator McCain and former Senator Bob Dole called on their Republican colleagues to support these Americans. I am saddened those Senators did not listen. Their arguments against the treaty had no basis in fact – the treaty does not change United States law. That is why I plan to bring this treaty up for a vote again in the next Congress. Our wounded veterans and millions more around the world deserve better.”
We all deserve better than the current GOP.