If Republicans are wondering why we think they are greedy, spineless and heartless, they need only look at their actions in the Senate during yesterday’s debate and vote on the U.N. Treaty on the Rights of the Disabled. Although there are very good reasons to conclude that Republicans are heartless and greedy, ultimately fear prevails above everything else with this crowd.
All but eight Republican senators voted against the Treaty, which was modeled on our Americans with Disability Act. The stated reasons for voting against the Treaty include:
“I do not support the cumbersome regulations and potentially overzealous international organizations with anti-American biases that infringe upon American society,” Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.
“I and many of my constituents who home-school or send their children to religious schools have justifiable doubt that a foreign body based in Geneva, Switzerland, should be deciding what is best for a child at home in Utah,” Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).
In other words, they couldn’t come up with substantive reasons because there aren’t any. So they made up nonsense that would also play to the base’s fears of black helicopters and government.
Senator Kerry gave an astounding speech addressing stated concerns, as ridiculous as they are, about the treaty.
As he pointed out, the Treaty doesn’t require any changes to U.S. law. All it does it set up a committee to review reports and make what is ultimately unenforceable suggestions. Nothing in the treaty requires us to change one word of our laws. Nothing in the treaty makes it possible for anyone to “tell us what to do.”
Rather, it raises standards in other countries, to the ones we established under The Americans with Disability Act. There is nothing about this treaty that threatens our sovereignty, the rights of children with disabilities home schooling or anything else.
But if they were going to vote against the treaty, the Republican cowards in the Senate had to offer up something to justify their actions. They had to vote against the treaty, because if they don’t the Tea Party challenge would come. Nothing says leadership like folding under Tea Party pressure even on the most straightforward of votes.
According to Senator Kerry, during an interview with Chris Matthews, some of these cowards will be less cowardly after the Fiscal Cliff discussions are over, or when the lame duck session is over.
In other words, it isn’t black helicopters or concern for kids with disabilities who are being home schooled or any of the other nonsense Republicans claimed prior to yesterday’s vote.
Gee, do we believe them? It isn’t like the Tea Party is going to disappear after the Fiscal Cliff discussions.
Former Senator Bob Dole was wheeled in by his wife, former Senator Elizabeth Dole to watch his former colleagues vote no. Granted, this was in part about tugging at the naysayer’s heartstrings. Unfortunately for that to be effective, listening to one’s heart would have to trump fear of a Tea Party challenge. Fear of the Tea Party trumped Senator Dole and whatever past relationships Republican Senators had with their former leader.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not exactly a fan of the former Senate Leader. However, I will applaud anyone who stands up for the right things.
This is not to say that Republicans don’t share the Tea Party’s backward views on women, racial minorities, science and a host of other things. They probably do on most if not all things. The thing is these Senators are driven more by fear of being replaced than standing up for anything at all.
The fact that some would feel more comfortable with voting for this treaty after the fiscal cliff is resolved only reinforces the idea that fear of Tea Party challenges trumps everything, including doing their job.
These Senators are so fearful of a Tea Party challenge that they will literally do anything to appease the Koch financed Tea Party. Tea is thicker than blood, friendship with Bob Dole, or anything else.
Because they fear a Tea Party challenge, these Senators are obstructing the nation’s business and will continue to do so as long as they are in office because if they don’t the Tea Party will challenge them.
Well, if they can’t stand up to the Tea Party, it means it’s up to we the people to stand up to them and say no to this nonsense, be it by phoning, emailing, using social media, signing this petition or all of the above.