SCROOGED! GOP Takeover By Conspiracy Theorists Complete
Yesterday, Republican senators proved, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that their collective IQ has now plummeted below their job approval rating and their overexposure to crackpot conspiracy theories has rendered them useless (if not harmful) to the American people and the rest of the world-at-large. The good news is that their current predicament will, no doubt, hasten their demise and ensure their extinction, in a timely manner.
The Senate, on Tuesday, voted on re-ratification of a UN treaty called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities based on the gold-standard 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act. The UN hoped to make the US law a non-binding international standard, securing the same level of rights for disabled people around the world. Ratification would require no change to U.S. law.
The senate vote fell short of the two-thirds vote required to ratify a United Nations treaty when the vast majority of Republican senators voted in a mindless bloc against the treaty. The final vote was 61-38 vote. All the nay votes were Republican. A handful of relatively sane Republicans, like Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Dick Lugar (R-IN) and John Barrasso (R-WY) voted for the treaty. But the more conservative members warned that it would violate U.S. sovereignty, dictate to parents with home-schooled children [and could possibly result in the arrival of the black helicopters ushering in a New World Order].
Even freakin George W. Bush signed this thing in 2006 and it was re-signed by President Barack Obama in 2009 shortly after he took office. Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS), a one-time GOP presidential nominee who was disabled while serving in the Army in World War II, was on the Senate floor Tuesday for the ratification vote, in a wheelchair, accompanied by his wife, former Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC).
Here’s how our fair-weather friend Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Planet Xanax), noted climate change denier, explained his opposition:
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 fellow Republican wingnuts Sens. Jim DeMint (SC), Mike Lee (UT), Marco Rubio (FL) (fer gawd’s sake) 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.
Sen. Mike Lee who is making quite the name for himself in hyper-conservative circles addedd:
I and many of my constituents who home-school or send their children to religious schools have justifiable doubt that a foreign body based in Geneva, Switzerland, should be deciding what is best for a child at home in Utah.
Hell, I “have justifiable doubt” that Sen. Mike Lee should be deciding what is best for a child at home in Utah after this embarrassing debacle. It’s no wonder we’re a global laughingstock with addle-brained people like this taking up space in our Senate.
Charles Pierce at Esquire has Lee’s number:
Keep an eye on this Lee character. He is one of their “constitutionalists” the same way Paul Ryan is a “budget wonk.” That he is a conspiratorialist loon who’s one tiny step away from shooting at imaginary black helicopters over his neighbor’s yard, and yet is still considered an important young conservative voice, should be a matter of some concern in an evolved democracy to, among other people, actual conservatives.
On the other hand, I think Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) expressed my own sentiments best:
I’ve heard some of my Republican colleagues talk many times about making the rest of the world more like America. I hate to think that now, when we have an opportunity to do that, they will retreat from the core conviction and oppose a treaty modeled on the United States example which has no recourse in American courts and no effect on American law.
The White House expressed disappointment thus:
We are disappointed that the overwhelming majority of Senate Republicans today blocked the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which would enshrine American standards that have been developed through decades of bipartisan cooperation. Ratification would require no changes to U.S. law, as the United States already leads the world in promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.
However, it would position the United States to support extending across the globe the rights that Americans already enjoy at home. This in turn would improve the lives of Americans with disabilities—including our wounded service members—who wish to live, work, and travel abroad. It would also allow our businesses to operate on a more level playing field and reaffirm American leadership on disability rights.
For these reasons, and others, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and across the country—as well as disability advocacy groups, wounded warriors, veterans groups and business groups—have supported this treaty. We commend former Senator Dole and the bipartisan coalition of Senators who worked to secure the treaty resolution’s passage, including Senators Reid, Kerry, Lugar and McCain.
We hope the Senate will reconsider this treaty soon in the next Congress. As President Obama declared in a written statement read in tribute to Senator Dole just before the vote, “disability rights should not stop at our nation’s shores.
Yes, well, things should get slightly better “in the next Congress” just by virtue of the fact that there will be fewer Republicans in it . . .