You may have heard that Senate Republicans voted today to defeat a United Nations treaty to protect the rights of disabled people, but you may not have realized how completely insane some of the Republican arguments against this treaty were: How Unhinged Rhetoric Sank a Disabilities Rights Treaty in the Senate.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities failed to capture the 2/3 vote needed for ratification in the U.S. Senate today due to fierce Republican opposition. Many Republicans and their allies in the conservative movement claimed that the treaty codifies abortion into law, even though that preposterous claim was rejected by the National Right to Life Committee and Sen. John McCain. Along with the false charges about abortion, opponents of the treaty claimed it will undermine U.S. sovereignty and harm children. Critics like Rick Santorum warned that the treaty may kill his disabled daughter; Glenn Beck said it could create a “fascistic” government and Sen. Jim Inhofe alleged the treaty would help groups with “anti-American biases.”
One of the lesser-known but extremely active opponents of the bill was homeschooling activist Michael Farris.
During an interview with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, he claimed that the treaty will prompt the United Nations to ‘get control’ of children with glasses or ADHD and remove them from their families.
Read the whole thing. It’s a sad snapshot of today’s deranged Republican Party.
Following up on Rick Santorum’s new job at the conspiracy website World Net Daily, and his absolutely insane fear-mongering column about the UN treaty on the rights of the disabled, heartless Republican bastards in the Senate rejected the treaty today — even with Bob Dole making a special appearance in a wheelchair to support it: Republican Opposition Downs UN Disability Treaty.
WASHINGTON — Led by Republican opposition, the Senate on Tuesday rejected a United Nations treaty on the rights of the disabled that is modeled after the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act.
With 38 Republicans casting “no” votes, the 61-38 vote fell five short of the two-thirds majority needed to ratify a treaty. The vote took place in an unusually solemn atmosphere, with senators sitting at their desks rather than milling around the podium. Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, looking frail and in a wheelchair, was in the chamber to support the treaty.
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.
Sen. Inhofe is absolutely wrong. No UN treaty can ever supersede the laws of the United States; the Supreme Court has ruled that the Supremacy Clause of the US Consitution specifically forbids it. This is pure right wing fear-mongering at its most evil, and it’s flat out disgusting.
— Gus (@Gus_802) December 4, 2012
Rick Santorum has now joined the illustrious company of Pamela Geller, Jerome Corsi, and Joseph Farah, and is writing a regular column for one of the looniest wingnut sites on the web, the always inadvertently amusing World Net Daily, where they’re still totally certain that Barack Obama is a secretly gay radical Muslim atheist commie with a fake birth certificate.
Not a single one of those absurd adjectives is exaggerated. The people who write for this hive of lunacy really do believe that stuff, all of it, at the same time. Not to mention the creationism, the advocation of theocracy, the climate change denial, the insane raving homophobia, and the blatant nativism and racism. It’s a cornucopia of anti-rational far right kookery.
And Santorum’s first column for Weird Nuts Drooling fits right in; it’s a crazy rant about a United Nations treaty on the rights of disabled people that Santorum thinks is a secret conspiracy to subvert the US Constitution so they can kill his daughter.
Digging a bit deeper, the treaty has much darker and more troubling implications.
The most offensive provision is found in Section 7 of the treaty dealing specifically with children with disabilities. That section reads:
“In all actions concerning children with disabilities, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”
“The best interest of the child” standard is lifted out of a controversial provision contained in the 1989 treaty called the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. That treaty was never ratified in large part because of this provision.
“The best interest of the child” standard may sound like it protects children, but what it does is put the government, acting under U.N. authority, in the position to determine for all children with disabilities what is best for them. That is counter to the current state of the law in this country which puts parents - not the government - in that position of determining what is in their child’s best interest. Under the laws of our country, parents lose that right only if the state, through the judicial process, determines that the parents are unfit to make that decision.
In the case of our 4-year-old daughter, Bella, who has Trisomy 18, a condition that the medical literature says is “incompatible with life,” would her “best interest” be that she be allowed to die? Some would undoubtedly say so.
Oh, for Pete’s sake.
Should somebody let Rick Santorum know that the Supreme Court has ruled on numerous occasions that the Supremacy Clause says treaties like this one cannot supersede the US Constitution, or is it too funny to just let him keep ranting away?
It’s very illuminating to see Republicans like Santorum losing their shit over an overwhelmingly positive treaty that would greatly help the disabled people of the world; makes it very easy to see that gaping cavity in their chests where a heart is supposed to be.
NPR has details: U.N. Votes to Give Palestinians ‘Non-Member Observer State’ Status.
Exactly 65 years after the General Assembly, convened at Lake Success, New York, voted to divide Palestine between a Jewish state and an Arab one, the same body voted 138 to 9 in favor of recognizing the State of Palestine.
The United States and Israel voted against the measure, while France and Spain voted in favor. Great Britain and Germany, both major powers and important U.S. allies, abstained from the vote.
As Mark reported earlier, this vote gives Palestinians the same status as the Vatican, but perhaps more importantly, it gives Palestinians access to other U.N. bodies like the International Criminal Court, where Palestinians could launch complaints against Israel.
The United States has repeatedly said that this was not the right way toward a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“This resolution is not going to take [Palestinian’s] closer to statehood,” Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said in a briefing yesterday. “It does nothing to get them closer to statehood, and it may actually make the environment more difficult.”
The resolution reaffirms the “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine,” and also declares the Palestine Liberation Organization the “representative of the Palestinian people.”
Andrew Kaczynski has dug up yet another buried video, a 1998 John Birch Society documentary starring none other than Ron Paul — a classic example of far right paranoia and conspiracy theorizing, as Dr. Paul calmly explains that the United Nations is plotting to take over America, create a New World Order, confiscate every red-blooded patriot’s guns, abolish all churches, and replace the US Constitution with the UN Charter.
As we wait for the latest outbreak of GOTP debating, I’d just like to say that it’s pretty cool how all the right wing blogs are expressing gratitude to President Obama for standing by Israel and forcing Mahmoud Abbas to abandon the Palestinian statehood bid, then walking out on Ahmadinejad’s ugly antisemitic speech.
It’s so nice to see them putting aside their partisan obsessions to give credit where it’s due. Kudos.
I’m kidding, of course.
It’s hardly even news any more that Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a crazed Holocaust-denying lunatic, and today he provoked the now-traditional walk-out by Western delegates at his speech to the UN General Assembly.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has provoked his share of walk outs at the U.N. In 2009, European delegates stormed out of a U.N. conference on racism when Ahmadinejad called Israel the “most cruel and racist regime.” The next year, at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, the U.S. delegation and other diplomats headed for the exits when the Iranian leader suggested the U.S. was behind the 9/11 attacks. Well, he’s done it again, using much of the same inflammatory language that he’s used before. Several outlets are reporting that the U.S. and several European delegations have walked out of Ahmadinejad’s U.N. General Assembly address this morning.
According to The Guardian, which is live-blogging Ahmadinejad’s speech, asked how the “flower of democracy” could blossom from from “NATO’s missiles, guns or bombs.” He also reportedly declared that “arrogant powers” threaten sanctions and military action against anyone who questions the Holocaust or 9/11 (which he called “mysterious”) and lashed out at the U.S. for waging wars, sparking the financial crisis, and killing Osama bin Laden “to hide the truth about 9/11” (he thinks bin Laden should have been put on trial).
The Obama administration has promised to veto the Palestinian bid for statehood in the UN Security Council, but of course that doesn’t stop the loons running for the GOP nomination from attacking him anyway, with the usual right wing nonsense that Obama has changed the US stance toward Israel (he hasn’t): GOP Candidates Assail Obama on Israel.
“We would not be here today at this very precipice of such a dangerous move if the Obama policy in the Middle East wasn’t naive and arrogant, misguided and dangerous,” Perry said in a speech in New York. “The Obama policy of moral equivalency which gives equal standing to the grievances of Israelis and Palestinians, including the orchestrators of terrorism, is a very dangerous insult.”
In a statement before Perry spoke, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney also waded into the tense foreign policy dispute over Mideast policy. He called the jockeying at the United Nations this week “an unmitigated disaster.” He accused Obama’s administration of “repeated efforts over three years to throw Israel under the bus and undermine its negotiating position.”
Perry also criticized Obama’s stated goal that any negotiations should be based on the borders Israel had before a 1967 war that expanded the Jewish state. While the 1967 borders have been the basis for diplomatic negotiations, they have never been embraced before by a U.S. president. Perry called that stance “insulting and naïve.”
A NATO airstrike has reportedly killed Colonel Qaddafi’s youngest son, and barely missed the Colonel himself.
Colonel Gaddafi himself was in the large residential villa which was hit by the strike, the spokesman added, but was unharmed.
His son Saif al-Arab was killed, as well as three of his grandsons.
Journalists say the building was extensively damaged and one unexploded bomb remains at the site.
Saif al-Arab was the youngest of Col Gaddafi’s six sons, with a lower profile than his brother Saif al-Islam.