GOP Senators Ensure Spots in Hell by Voting Down Rights of People with Disabilities

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Earlier today, a clear majority of Senate GOP voted to block a treaty to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. They did so in front of Bob Dole, the former Senate Majority Leader from Kansas, who arrived in his wheelchair on the Senate floor to support the treaty. BTW, the alternate headline for this piece was: In Ironic Move, Liberals Convinced of Creationism, as Darwinism Certainly Can't be Responsible For Republican Morons.


The human rights treaty was negotiated by the George H.W. Bush administration and has already been ratified by 126 nations. It would have absolutely zero impact on our law, other than to hopefully bring other countries up to our standards. On the list of countries that ratified the treaty? China, Iran, and Syria.

But nevertheless, Republicans like Rick Santorum said the treaty would threaten American sovereignty. Threaten. American. Sovereignty. There are 19-year-olds coming back with no legs, and yet these pieces of shit can't say wheelchair ramps are a good idea.

Opponents said that American approval might give the impression that the United States accepts how those nations treat their disabled citizens.

"The hard reality is that there are nation-states, like China, who do like to sign up to these organizations and gain the reputation for doing good things while, in fact, not doing good things," said Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.)

That's paranoia, says supporters.

The thing is, the treaty wouldn't change anything in U.S. law without further approval from Congress. "With these provisions, the United States can join the convention as an expression - an expression - of our leadership on disability rights without ceding any of our ability to decide for ourselves how best to address those issue in our law," said Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.).

To break it down: The GOP is unwilling to ratify a treaty that simply asks other nations to create better treatment for disabled persons in their countries. The way the GOP profits off of its image as the party of the military, and yet are unwilling to ratify something so blatantly good for the people who give life and limb to serve us. Profiting off their service, unwilling to stand up for them.

What I don't get is, why is this a controversy? Our government is broken. I've suggested before that dolphins take over, but now I'm thinking gorillas. Naturally peaceful, stewards of the Earth, babies look like stuffed animals. Done and done.


Senate rejects treaty to protect disabled around the world [Washington Post]
Senate GOP kills disabilities treaty [Maddow]


Ari Schwartz: Dark Lord of the Snark

So, time to play Devil's Advocate for a second: Kyl actually has a legitimate point, even if he's on the wrong side here.

China, Iran, and others DO like the sign up for treaties and then flaunt them. It's not incorrect to say that. The problem here is that he's in league with guys like Santorum who are paranoid morons who are only feeding the "One World Government" bullshit that is so popular amongst GOP circles.

I'm a pretty staunch "neo-realist" in terms of my expectations of UN performance (close to zero), and to that end I think that most of these treaties are powerless empty gestures that will simply give countries pretty word walls to hide behind.

But the US should join them anyway. If only to help keep any momentum toward multi-lateralism in world development moving. Unfortunately, after the neo-con grand experiment of the 2000s, the GOP is back to its post-WW1 attitudes of "the world is scary, let's hide."