Published: December 20, 2012
Rick Santorum, call your proctologist. The doctor found your head.
Santorum, who somehow thought losing his Senatorial re-election bid in Pennsylvania by a landslide was a basis on which to enter the 2012 Republican presidential primary, urged the Senate to reject the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
He got his way. The Senate voted earlier this month not to ratify the treaty, which has been ratified by 126 countries.
The agreement reaffirms the basic human rights of the disabled – the right to equal accommodations, employment, education, health and freedom from discrimination, torture and exploitation.
You’d think Santorum would be compelled to support it because his four-year-old daughter, Bella, was born with Trisomy 18. That’s a birth defect caused by dysfunctional cell division. It causes severe developmental impediments in children who manage to survive.
But Santorum and like-minded conservatives think the United Nations is out to usurp the rights of people who care for people with disabilities, especially parents.
They think it’s an assault on the sovereignty of the United States.
For example, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), said it would make our country subject to “cumbersome regulations and potentially overzealous international organizations with anti-American biases that infringe upon American society.”
That time-honored old bugaboo, the Communist plot, has been replaced by the U.N. plot.
That’s right, folks. Ban Ki-moon is Nikita Khrushchev without the bomb, and those blue-helmeted peacekeepers are just itching to march into Anytown, U.S.A., and knock Grandma’s walker out of her hands.
No wonder the treaty was supported by pinkos like Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh.
Here’s the kicker: the treaty was modeled on our own Americans with Disabilities Act, which has been the law of the land since 1990.
Santorum asserted that, if the U.S. became a signatory to the treaty, it could be used as a standard in American court cases. Attorneys say that is not true. They say only U.S. law can be used as a basis for litigation in American courts.
The Americans with Disabilities Act is U.S. law.
Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) lobbied his fellow Senators from a wheelchair. The sight of their former majority leader, aged 89 and infirm, made no impression.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) took to CNN and other platforms to blast Santorum and his allies. Kerry has been mentioned as a possible successor to Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State since U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration.
The nomination of Kerry would at least send a signal to the rest of the world that Santorum doesn’t speak for all Americans, let alone the disabled.
The countries that have ratified the treaty include China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, Syria and Saudi Arabia.
Any day that group can outshine the U.S. on a human rights issue is a sad, sad day.