Ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities should have been a slam-dunk celebratory endorsement. Hell, the treaty, based on the Americans With Disabilities Act, was already ratified by 126 nations. This should have been a ceremonial gala of world society righting a fundamental wrong, had the hyperpartisan, Tea Bag ghost-fearing Right not imagined farcical “black helicopters” nefariously vectored in from U. N. headquarters in New York.
One would think the creepy late Daddy Koch and Eisenhower-hating paranoid John Birchers of sixty years ago rose from the dead, reincarnated as a self-flagellating, bunker-cowering, “home school” maven, ex-Sen. Rick “Please don’t Google” Santorum (R-Opus DUH), tilting at windmills anew.
The United States Senate is supposed to be the “grown-ups table” of American legislative bodies. The numbers are fewer, and the terms are longer when compared to the oft-rabble-oriented composition of our other law-making bodies. The upper chamber is supposed to be the province of the level headed.
Apparently not. In “defending American soverignity,” the extreme Righties exercised all the tactical prowess of Monty Python’s Holy Grail knights standing up to a French taunting.
Constitutionally, the Senate has the duty to ratify treaties. To moderate the “there ought to be a law” exuberance mindset, treaties entered into by the President must be ratified by at least a two-thirds margin in that august body. Not exactly rocket science.
It’s uncivilized and bad form to pick on the helpless and the disabled. The Supreme Court made the landmark decision in Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002), that we don’t execute the mentally disabled, even when the torches and pitchfork crowd wants to “hang ‘em high” in the loony, boonie states. As much glee as I continue to invest in lampooning pompous tundra twit Sarah Palin, it is bad form to visit political ire on her youngest child with Down’s Syndrome. There’s already a steady diet of folly fodder from Mommie Dearest without taking a cheap shot at a wee child who will have more than enough challenges in life to face.
Americans like telling everyone else how great we are and how other nations should act. Are the gun-hugging, chronic misspelling lunatics fearful that the nefarious ole U.N. will ban their Saturday night honky tonk dwarf toss fun at The Dew Drop Inn in downtown Hooterville? Have we forgotten Tea Party crazy woman Sharron Angle‘s 2010 failed Senate campaign gaffe in Nevada, belittling “autism” with air quotes?
That U.N. treaty is based upon the Americans With Disabilities Act, enacted more than twenty years ago by a Republican President. We love preaching to the rest of the world, telling them how they should live. Hell, do a victory lap, chanting “USA! USA!”, but to disown an international treaty based on a longstanding American law is lunacy.
As for Rick Santorum and his paranoid ilk, I might suggest shifting ritually beating themselves to body parts below the neck line.