Well, it would seem that paranoia has won out in Washington, which isn’t horribly surprising these days, but still, the level of unfounded hysteria from elected officials is a little staggering.
On Tuesday, the Senate voted to deep-six a United Nations treaty that would have recognized the rights of the world’s disabled citizens. It’s been ratified by 126 nations including – wait for it – China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, Syria and Saudi Arabia. But because of the Republican nimrods in the Senate and their dickish cheerleaders like Rick Santorum, the United States can proudly say that we don’t give a rat’s ass about the rights of the world’s disabled.
So, you might be asking yourself what fiendish reason they could have for opposing the treaty. Well, try home schooling:
At an event with former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) late last month, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) announced that 36 Republicans had signed a letter pledging to vote against the treaty.
Lee told Senators on Tuesday that the treaty “threatens the right of parents to raise their children with the constant looming threat of state interference.”
“We all want to support the best interest of the child, every child,” Lee said in a speech on the Senate floor. “But I and many of my constituents, including those who home school their children or send their children to private or religious schools, have justifiable doubts that a foreign U.N. body, a committee operating out of Geneva, Switzerland should decide what is in the best interest of the child at home with his or her parents in Utah or in any other state in our great union.”
Or maybe it was because of abortion, which is the vague and ridiculous argument Santorum tried to make in his opening screed for World
Nut Net Daily.
Showcasing a rare moment of sanity in the face of utter insanity, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) tried to inject a little reason:
“With respect to abortion, this is a disabilities treaty and has nothing to do with abortion,” McCain told his Republican colleagues in a Monday speech on the Senate floor. “Trying to turn this into an abortion debate is bad politics and just wrong.”
There’s nothing justifiable about this insanity, and as the Republicans have proven over and over again, they are experts at “bad” and “wrong” politics. This treaty is not some back-door coup attempt by the United Nations, as Steve Benen makes crystal clear at the Maddow Blog:
But most Senate Republicans saw it as a threat to American “sovereignty,” even though the treaty wouldn’t have required the United States to change its laws. When the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the treaty with bipartisan support in July, Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) explained the proposal simply “raises the [international] standard to our level without requiring us to go further.”
In other words, we wouldn’t actually have to do anything except say we like the treaty — and then wait for other signatories around the world to catch up to the United States’ Americans with Disabilities Act.
No, once again, the fundamentalist, tin-foil hat brigade a-holes of the party are simply pandering to their lowest common denominator, and as they filed out the door, proud of their cowardly accomplishment, they passed a wheelchair-ridden Bob Dole — one of their own and a former GOP presidential candidate — on their way out. Dole, who supported the treaty, attended the vote in an effort to sway the crazies in his party, all to no avail.
But this is what happens when you leave such things in the hands of paranoid schizophrenics – I’m sorry, Republicans. In no time flat things took a complete nose-dive into Republican Crazy Town™, where the GOP resides in ignorant, soulless bliss.
This should have been a slam-dunk — but once again, progress has been stymied by stupid.