Texas Senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison joined with other fellow Republicans today in voting down ratification of an international treating protecting the rights of the disabled. Ratification failed 61-38. It needed 67 votes to pass. Talking Points Memo describes the treaty:
“The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities essentially makes the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act a non-binding international standard. It requires no change to U.S. law.”
Former Republican Senate Majority leader Bob Dole joined with a handful of longtime current GOP senators — including John McCain and Richard Lugar — and a host of other political leaders in calling for ratification of the treaty. (Dole himself is disabled because of injuries he suffered in World War II.) But many Republican senators joined with right-wing groups like Eagle Forum to denounce the treaty as a threat to American sovereignty and, well, home-schoolers. Yeah, go figure. Here’s what Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe said:
“I do oppose the CRPD because I think it does impinge upon our sovereignty. Unelected bureaucratic bodies would implement the treaty and pass so-called recommendations that would be forced upon the United Nations and the U.S. … This would especially affect those parents who home-school their children. … The unelected foreign bureaucrats, not parents, would decide what is in the best interests of the disabled child, even in the home.”
And no, we don’t understand what in blazes he’s talking about. Maybe Senators Cornyn and Hutchison can explain it.
The folks at RightWingWatch.org explain how “unhinged rhetoric” sank the treaty. Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association claimed, according to RightWingWatch.org, “that the treaty would prompt the United Nations to ‘get control’ of children with glasses or ADHD and remove them from their families.” Read the whole post — there’s much more from Farris.