Thursday, December 06, 2012

Why good people hate them: Republicans reject the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

By Mustang Bobby

If the Republican Party ever has a moment of introspection — yeah, right — and wonders why they lose elections and get portrayed as cold, heartless, and unfeeling bastards, this would explain it:

The Senate Tuesday fell short of the two-thirds vote required to ratify a United Nations treaty aimed at securing rights for disabled people around the world, when the vast majority of Republican senators voted against the treaty. The final vote was 61-38 vote. All the nay votes were Republican.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities essentially makes the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act a non-binding international standard. It requires no change to U.S. law.

Originally signed by then-President George W. Bush in 2006 and re-signed by President Barack Obama in 2009 shortly after he took office, the treaty has been championed by former Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS), the one-time GOP presidential nominee who suffered a disability while serving in the Army in World War II. Dole was on the Senate floor Tuesday ahead of the ratification vote, in a wheelchair, accompanied by his wife, former Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC).

Longtime Republicans like Sens. John McCain (AZ), Dick Lugar (IN) and John Barrasso (WY) voted for the treaty. But that didn't stop the party's more conservative members from warning that it would violate U.S. sovereignty and dictate to parents with home-schooled children.

"I do oppose the CRPD because I think it does impinge upon our sovereignty," said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK). "Unelected bureaucratic bodies would implement the treaty and pass so-called recommendations that would be forced upon the United Nations and the U.S. ... This would especially affect those parents who home-school their children. ... The unelected foreign bureaucrats, not parents, would decide what is in the best interests of the disabled child, even in the home."

Inhofe was joined by Republican Sens. Jim DeMint (SC), Mike Lee (UT), Marco Rubio (FL) and most of the party's leadership in quashing the treaty. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY), who is up for re-election in 2014, voted against it.

Sorry for the longish excerpt, but I wanted you to see the enormity of the perfidy and the Bircher-style paranoia, as well as to include the name of one of the people who voted against it: the junior Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio. I do hope that whoever runs against him in 2016 reminds the people of our state again and again that when it came time to stand up, so to speak, for the rights of the disabled, he voted against them. That's not a little thing here in a state with a large elderly population, many of whom benefit from the provisions of the ADA.

So the next time the deep thinkers of the GOP sit around wondering how to fix the "demographics" for the party (aside from getting Hispanics and Asians to think of themselves as Americans), maybe they could think about knocking off the lunatic bit.

As for the rest of them, they're just too whacked out on the abstract fear of being controlled by someone else that they become the control freaks themselves. Not only that, they know they can raise a ton of money by being against something and scaring the crap out of people than actually doing something that might hint at being generous, magnanimous, and human.

(Cross-posted at Bark Bark Woof Woof.)

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