published Thursday, December 6th, 2012

No respect for the disabled

The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, advocated by former Republican Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and signed into law under President George Herbert Walker Bush, is widely acknowledged to be the international gold standard when it comes to the rights of disabled people. Its creation served as the genesis of a United Nations treaty -- the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities -- that has now been ratified by 125 countries.

Yet on Tuesday, Senate Republicans -- after paying their respect to Mr. Dole, 89, who came to the Senate floor in his wheelchair to advocate once again for the ADA's benefit on a global scale -- blocked the United States from becoming a member of this U.N. treaty by preventing a two-thirds vote in favor of ratification. Just eight Republicans, led by Arizona Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl, voted to approve the convention. Among those against voting against were all of the South's senators, including Tennessee's Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander.

There is more than cruel irony in this defeat. The opponents' nay votes were pure, crass politics, a bow to Tea Party extremists who would pick a fight against a most noble cause just to prove their bona fides in the wake of November's stinging electoral defeat, which now is weakening GOP allegiance to Grover Norquist and his restive, no-tax-increase-ever Luddite faction.

Their sad, disgraceful rejection of the treaty is unfathomable, unless you believe in black helicopter conspiracies, and the groundless ritual fear of a U.N. takeover of Americans' brains, our children and our legal system.

What rot.

President Obama signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities in 2009. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the bill last July on a bipartisan 13-6 vote. That vote came with a resolution -- just to make it clear -- that the United States would not surrender any sovereign authority under the convention, nor be compelled by any United Nations law, resolution or recommendation emerging from it.

In effect, the vote to ratify the treatment was actually just a vote to lend credibility to the Convention in order to spur greater respect for the disabled in countries that have not yet joined the treaty. That alone justifies ratification. But it is also a way to elevate and strengthen rights and protection for disabled Americans who visit or reside in countries where the needs of the handicapped are not accommodated.

That measure of concern, however, fell to the empty fear fanned by the far-right's media provocateurs, who continually need new fodder for their fear-fests and their paychecks. In this case, they fanned the notion that the convention could lead to codification of U.N. standards on the rights of children, and thus the outlandish fib that U.N. bureaucrats could intrude on states' authority over the rights of American children.

Such a conspiracy theory mindset is already at play in the wing-nut notion that the U.N.'s 1992 conference on a sustainable environment and its recommendations for environmentally sound policies -- known as Agenda 21, a reference to the needs of the 21st Century -- will override local land-use rules. Hence we have such believers here campaigning against our regional growth planning.

There's no convincing the black-helicopter crowd otherwise. But our United States senators should know better, and not be held captive to such wild-eyed views. Sens. Corker and Alexander certainly should be willing to stand up for an international treaty invoking respect and help for the disabled. It is shameful that they wilted and failed that duty.

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conservative said...

I recently noticed 11 handicap parking spaces in front of a Home Depot!

December 6, 2012 at 9:10 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

So, what's your point, con-man? What does that have to do with Republican obstinacy regarding the treaty? In fact, what does that have to do with anything??

December 6, 2012 at noon
Rickaroo said...

There is no clearer indication of how completetly irrational today's Republicans have become than their pig-headed, childishly stubborn refusal to vote for this treaty. This should have been a no-brainer, but instead these loony teabagging deranged nitwits have to prove to everyone that they indeed have NO BRAINS and NO HEART. Conservatives bristle at and despise taxes, the U.N., Obama, and all Democrats like Dracula bristling at a crucifix, and they would vote lock-step against anything to do with any of them, even if it meant cutting off their noses to spite their faces. I become more embarrassed each passing day to think that I live in a country in which people of such low mental and moral state are serving as our representatives.

December 6, 2012 at 12:21 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Name one thing that is "poisonous" about this treaty, JR. There is nothing negative about it. It would do no harm in any way whatsover to anyone anywhere and would in fact be a sign of good will among nations. And if the Republicans had voted in favor of it it would show that they can indeed be bipartisan some of the time at least. Instead, they have taken something as innocuous as this treaty and chosen, once again, to show their butts by snubbing the U.N., Obama, and Democrats for no reason other than that they can. Like spoiled snot-nosed little kids.

December 6, 2012 at 1:51 p.m.
tipper said...

Rickeroo: There is nothing more scary to "conservative" and "JonRoss" than a disabled Communist, Socialist or intelligent person under the bed.

December 6, 2012 at 6:14 p.m.
tipper said...

Rickeroo: There is nothing more scary to "conservative" and "JonRoss" than a disabled Communist, Socialist or intelligent person under the bed.

December 6, 2012 at 6:14 p.m.
Easy123 said...

JonRoss,

"Rickaroo your president lied about Obamacare."

False. By the way, he's your President too. LMAO!

"He lied about its financial viability, stability of doctor patient relationships, etc. eveything."

False.

"Why should we ever again trust anything that your president suggests or promotes ?"

Because you and your ilk are so dead-set on conjuring up massive lies about the man. People should trust him simply because people like you don't trust him.

"He is a hard core radical left ideologue. Screw the sob."

Obama is more moderate than the last 3 Presidents. Screw you and your mother.

December 7, 2012 at 2:48 p.m.
Easy123 said...

JonRoss,

Your insanity knows no bounds.

Did you just reveal your hidden fantasy? Freud had a thing or two to say about men and their mothers... LMFAO!

How Republican of you.

December 7, 2012 at 3:12 p.m.
Easy123 said...

JonRoss,

Nothing you say is applicable to any of my words. Do you even know what "irrational" means?

You're the one talking about incestuous relationships and I'm the irrational one? LMAO!

You discredit yourself with every post. You don't have an original thought, so you say things that you believe to be "intelligent". But everything you regurgitate on this sight is erroneous or used improperly/out of context/etc.

You are a bumbling idiot and patently ignorant. You sound as stupid and, to steal you word, IRRATIONAL as most of the other Republican apologists that post here.

:-)

December 7, 2012 at 3:23 p.m.
Easy123 said...

JonRoss,

What a poignant rebuttal. LMAO! Your ignorance is off the charts.

Revealing another one of your fetishes? Digital manipulation of fecal matter!

Again, how Republican of you.

December 7, 2012 at 3:38 p.m.
fairmon said...

How would the U.N. enforce the treaty if it is passed? It seems the republicans concern is misplaced. We should not be imposing on any country our laws and insisting they act like us not that the U.N. has the power to interfere in our affairs. Is the U.N. a peace keeping body or a means of expanding control of social issues?

December 8, 2012 at 5:09 a.m.
eeeeeek said...

I reported a minister who was/is using his minister mirror placard to park in handicap spots.

The police were reluctant to ticket the car, but did so after they realized I had my phone recording the incident to video.

It took a few taunting remarks to push the ticket included.. "So officer __, by not ticketing you are acknowledging that all ministers are handicapped in the brain for having an imaginary friend as an adult."

It was a good day for this disabled veteran who thinks that those who need the space more than I, should have access to it.

December 8, 2012 at 9:08 p.m.
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