A New Low

About two weeks ago, I wrote about Rick Santorum and some of the loonier members of the Republican Party who were coming out in an effort to defeat the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.  It made me sick to think that some would use this treaty as a political football with some ill-conceived belief that ratification of the treaty would infringe on the sovereignty of our country.  I thought that maybe, just maybe, there would be enough sanity in the Senate to obtain the 66 votes needed to ratify the treaty.  I was wrong.  38 Republican Senators voted against the treaty, while 8 used common sense and joined the 51 Democrats and 2 Independents who voted to ratify the treaty (source).

The U.N. Convention, contrary to what Rick Santorum or Senator Mike Lee would have you believe, does not infringe on the right of parents to home-school their children.  It would not have given the United Nations the right to come in and take over our country if they felt like we were not meeting the needs of those with disabilities.  Nope, it would not have done any of that.  In fact, it was modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

It is troublesome to me how many conspiracy theorists are out there, and how much influence they have.  In defeating this treaty, we have signaled to the world that we are content to merely be chasing our tails.  Again, the Senate failed to ratify a treaty that is modeled after existing American law and standards.  All that ratification would have done is tell the rest of the world that we agree to meet our own standard.  That’s all.  Just stand behind our own law.  But 38 Senate Republicans failed miserably.

Honestly, it is not surprising to me at all.  The tone that Senate Republicans have set since President Obama took office January 20, 2009 has been to block almost every bill that has been up for a vote.  They obstruct everything they possibly can at every turn.  And why would they stop now?  Why not block a treaty that is modeled after something that is our established law and has enjoyed broad bipartisan support since its inception in 1990?

If you, or someone in your family, or someone you care about has a disability, and you voted for one of the 38 Senators who voted against this treaty, you have no room to complain in my book.  For better or for worse, we have to own the votes and legislation that those who we vote for cast.  That is how a representative democracy works.  Does that mean that if you voted for one of the 38 miserable people who voted against this that I think you are against people with disabilities?  Absolutely not.  What it does show is that the person you voted for would rather hold a hard partisan stance for no good reason.  That is part of the issue here, too.  This was not a partisan issue at all.  It’s not like Senate Democrats proposed raising taxes to 97% on rich people and these 38 Republicans balked at that idea.

38 Senate Democrats Republicans* reached a new low last week.  The question remains:  will it signal that they have reached rock bottom, or will they plunge even further?

*Corrected after an astute catch by Ryan.

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2 Responses to A New Low

  1. ryan85 says:

    Best line of the whole post, “38 Senate Democrats reached a new low last week. The question remains: will it signal that they have reached rock bottom, or will they plunge even further?” LOL, I think you might have meant Republicans. Rant consistently man.

    • TommyK says:

      Nice catch. Don’t know how I missed it. 🙂 I am sure that 38 Senate Democrats reached a new low at some point over the last month. Shoot, Congress as a whole reaches new lows every day when they get nothing done at all.

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