Citing everything from home schooling to abortion, 38 Republican senators block the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities. The negotiations for the convention were completed by the administration of Pres. George W. Bush in 2006 and it was signed by Pres. Barack Obama in 2009. But somehow, according to these right wing conspiracy theorists, the disabilities convention, which is entirely based on the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, would even threaten the “sovereignty of the United States.”
The treaty, already signed by 155 nations and ratified by 126 countries, including Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia, states that nations should strive to assure that the disabled enjoy the same rights and fundamental freedoms as their fellow citizens. Republicans objected to taking up a treaty during the lame-duck session of the Congress and warned that the treaty could pose a threat to U.S. national sovereignty.
“I do not support the cumbersome regulations and potentially overzealous international organizations with anti-American biases that infringe upon American society,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.
Say what!? Protecting the rights of disabled Americans abroad is now “anti-American?” The irrational hatred of the United Nations by the radical Republicans has twisted their minds. Sen. Inhofe has allies in Tea Party favorites freshman Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), along with anti-feminist conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly:
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.” [..]
Writing for World Net Daily on Monday, Santorum said the treaty had “darker and more troubling implications” and suggested that it would have meant the forced abortion his daughter because she has a rare genetic disorder. [..]
Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly also warned in November that proponents were “using this treaty as an opportunity to promote their abortion agenda.”
Even with the support of former Republican presidential candidates and disable veterans, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS), present and looking frail and in a wheelchair, the convention failed to garner the necessary two third vote.
The Daily Show host Jon Stewart put it quite succinctly, “It’s official. Republicans hate the United Nations more than they like helping people in wheelchairs.” I just wish I could tell him that this is rock bottom for the Republicans: