The news earlier this week that Rick Santorum was considering running again in 2016 was greeted with joy by those of us who can’t get enough of sanctimonious twits, but according to Dana Milbank, he’s making his re-entry to the arena on the backs of people who really don’t need any more burdens in their life.
President-unelect Rick Santorum made his triumphant return to the Capitol on Monday afternoon and took up a brave new cause: He is opposing disabled people.
Specifically, Santorum, joined by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, declared his wish that the Senate reject the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities — a human rights treaty negotiated during George W. Bush’s administration and ratified by 126 nations, including China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, Syria and Saudi Arabia.
The former presidential candidate pronounced his “grave concerns” about the treaty, which forbids discrimination against people with AIDS, who are blind, who use wheelchairs and the like. “This is a direct assault on us,” he declared at a news conference.
Lee, a tea party favorite, said he, too, has “grave concerns” about the document’s threat to American sovereignty. “I will do everything I can to block its ratification, and I have secured the signatures of 36 Republican senators, all of whom have joined with me saying that we will oppose any ratification of any treaty during this lame-duck session.”
Lame or not, Santorum and Lee recognized that it looks bad to be disadvantaging the disabled in their quest for fair treatment. Santorum praised Lee for having “the courage to stand up on an issue that doesn’t look to be particularly popular to be opposed.”
Courageous? Or just contentious? The treaty requires virtually nothing of the United States. It essentially directs the other signatories to update their laws so that they more closely match the Americans with Disabilities Act. Even Lee thought it necessary to preface his opposition with the qualifier that “our concerns with this convention have nothing to do with any lack of concern for the rights of persons with disabilities.”
Their concerns, rather, came from the dark world of U.N. conspiracy theories. The opponents argue that the treaty, like most everything the United Nations does, undermines American sovereignty — in this case via a plot to keep Americans from home-schooling their children and making other decisions about their well-being.
It’s all well and good to mock these people as the fools and know-nothings that they are, but when you see things like this, it’s clear that they’re also douchebags who are more frightened by imaginary UN storm troopers than they are about real people with real disabilities. Despicable.