Opinion: Shame Of The Senate
The Brain Dead Republican Congress has had some low points, but last week’s Senate vote on a United Nations treaty for the disabled was notable in its outrageousness.
This year, Republicans in the Senate voted to kill a bill that would help veterans get jobs. Republican Senators who had sponsored the legislation voted against the bill’s passage because Republicans did not want to help the President.
Seriously, Senate Republicans voted to hurt our veterans because they thought helping veterans was good for Obama.
This is the level of thinking we are dealing with.
Yesterday, in a rare moment of bipartisanship, Senator John Kerry and Senator John McCain held a joint event to highlight the importance of passing this treaty. Democrats needed a little more than a dozen Republicans to vote for the treaty to get 66 votes for passage.
In the 1980s, disabled Americans protested to get access to public transportation and public buildings. Ultimately that movement resulted in the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. Those principles were the basis of the international treaty that was negotiated by the George W. Bush Administration and voted on by the Senate yesterday.
The treaty would call on other nations to follow our lead. It would, in no way, have any effect on the United States. It is a testament to what is best about America.
But not to the brain dead Republican members of the United States Senate who voted to kill the treaty because they are afraid of a fringe group of activists on the right.
Led by Rick Santorum, the home school faction of the tea party claimed that the treaty could infringe on their decision to home school a child with disabilities.
That claim is a lie. But it is the kind of lie that passes for truth in the right wing entertainment complex that Republicans rely on to build an alternate reality.
And Republicans who want to ward off Tea Party challengers are more interested in what the alternate reality thinkers believe than in facts.
They even turned on a long time friend. Legendary Senator Bob Dole, who was leader of Republicans in the Senate for years and nominee for President in 1996, appeared on the Senate floor — in his wheel chair — in a last ditch effort to appeal to his friends and colleagues in the Senate.
Dole, who was injured in World War II, has been an advocate for disabled Americans. But his presence did nothing to sway the brain dead Senators who walked past their former leader like zombies to cast one of the most disgraceful votes in the history of what was once regarded as the greatest deliberative body on the planet.
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.