The no votes by Oklahoma Senators Inhofe and Coburn against the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities brings great shame on our state. Along with the 36 other Republican no votes that bring shame on that entire body, and on our country.
If there were any justice, it should bring the most shame to the Republican party, which has lost its soul and its moorings in thrall to an element that is irrational and intrinsically cruel. But if that were possible, it would have gone up in a puff of black smoke sometime in 2010.
Yes, it seems a great number of Republicans have been convinced that someone not an American being able to cross a street or enter a building or a bathroom is an insidious plot against America. Oh, and somehow, American homeschoolers and their pathetically ignorant/corrupt advocates will be subjected to the most heinous tyranny by something with "United Nations" in its name.
How bitterly ironic it is that the treaty is based on the Americans with Disabilities Act, a law which has transformed our country for the better in countless ways and given hundreds of thousands of people new mobility and access to our society's offerings, as well as allowed all of us to benefit from their contributions. Think of how the whole world could be so transformed, communities and nations raising their living standards and understanding of diversity. It was an opportunity to show the world the best of the US society and politics, and to lead in something that didn't kill people for a change. Instead it was a day for us all to hang our heads as the fearmongering and xenophobia overtook what should be our most august political body.
Former Senator Bob Dole, a disabled veteran, was brought to the chamber in a wheelchair to lobby for passage of the treaty. His former colleagues patted him on the back, saluted him, then dishonored him by voting no, because they fear getting primaried by a teahadist next election. How these people can look themselves in the mirror, much less get up in front of the American people on the Senate floor and talk about "values," is a mystery to me.
Oklahoma (and Utah, and Arizona, et. al.) keeps voting such people into positions of power, and keeps sliding down the scale in every manner of liveability. And too many people who agree with that statement just give up and refuse to fight back.
Well, I won't give up. I will be shaking my fist and condemning cruelty and greed to my last breath, and working to make my community, state, country and world more compassionate and peaceful. When evil makes a particularly ugly showing, like it did yesterday in the Senate, it just makes me all the more determined to kick its sorry ass.
I think this has been posted here already, but it's worth posting again. Former Senate staffer Lawrence O'Donnell gets choked up when reporting the darkest day in some time in the Senate that he admires and loves.