Wednesday, December 5, 2012


AP Photo
        Shame on those 38 Republican Senators who voted against the United Nations Treaty banning discrimination against people with disabilities.
        Ratification of international treaties requires a two-thirds majority of the Senate. More than 150 other nations have signed the treaty, which guarantees disabled persons the same rights provided disabled persons in the United States under the Americans With Disabilities Act, which was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush in 1990.
        Kudos to the eight Republican Senators who voted with the Democrats in favor of the treaty, including Senators Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), John Barrasso (Wyo.), Scott Brown (Mass.), Susan Collins (Maine), Dick Lugar (Ind.), John McCain (Ariz.), Olympia Snowe (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) voted with Democrats in favor of the treaty.
        Eighty-nine year old retired Senator Bob Dole, a disabled veteran of World War II, was wheeled by his wife, retired Senator Elizabeth Dole, onto the Senate floor as a gesture of his strong support for the treaty. He was greeted warmly by Senators on both sides of the aisle, but how disappointed he must have been by those of his own Party who voted against the Treaty, on the pretext that it would be an infringement on the sovereignty of the United States.
        How sheepish they must have felt, as their names were called out in opposition. They included some of Senator Dole’s closest former colleagues and friends, whose fear of a back lash from their Tea Party constituents was, I suspect, the real reason for their opposition. Their misguided political loyalties stifled their desire to do what was right for America and the world. Shame on them!
        But then, why should we be surprised? Because of their outrageous pledge to Grover Norquist, they’re willing to let the Bush tax cuts expire for 98% of us Americans rather than allow the tax rate for the wealthiest 2% to revert to the Clinton tax rate, which would represent a slight increase that the rich can well afford.
        Shame on them!

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