UN Disabilities treaty

Can someone explain, in non-crazy conspiracy words, why 38 senators voted down the UN Disabilities treaty? (I think it’s addressed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_on_the_Rights_of_Persons_with_Disabilities)

It seems like something that the senate could agree on, and would be in line with laws already on the book in the US, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. I’ve read some rantings by Santorum about the UN taking away his children or something, but I’m looking for an actual rational reason to vote it down.

I’m hoping that 38 senators did not fall for the kind of conspiracy-laced rhetoric that includes the Amero, the Mexico-Canada superhighway, and other such ridiculous one-world conspiracy crap.

I could see House members falling for that, because there’s all kinds of crazy in the House. But the Senate is usually more rational than that.

Help me out here!

It’s against US interests to vote against a treaty which merely symbolically talk about disabled peoples rights? You have got to be kidding me.

By signing a UN treaty that nations will not treat the disabled like shit, the U.S. will give over it’s sovereignty to the UN. Typical right-wing paranoia.

A rabidly republican relative of mine was foaming at the mouth this morning; this treaty was just one more attempt to foster a one world government on us.

I’m sorry, I can’t follow the train of multiple negatives followed by a sentence negating the previous one. Can you write that again? (not being sarcastic, I can’t tell if you’re defending the vote or not)

I’m actually trying to find some non-crazy justification for the vote against. I’ve read about some of the crazy ones.

Can a conservative-leaning or Republican-leaning poster help me out here?

LMGIFY. Here are (some of ?) their stated reasons to start with. Relevant bits:

Yup, sorry. I meant that I am flabbergasted that anyone could seriously oppose this treaty. What next, opposing a treaty which says kittens are cute and the sky blue?

What kills me is that even former Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole – in his wheechair due to his injury he received fighting Nazis – pleaded with the Senate to ratify the treaty, and his own party refused.

This is what happens when you create a misinformation bubble to win elections. After a generation, the stupid rubes you’ve been scaring have been living in it their whole lives and are afraid of phantoms.

Although there’s nothing particularly crazy in the treaty, and I personally think that a lot of the opposition is right-wing nuttery, I can see in general why the Senate might not see a lot of benefit to being signatories to treaties that are pretty much inconsequential.

It’s not like we’re somehow less progressive on this account - the ADA seems to be the world standard for the treatment of the disabled, and I can say, anecdotally at least, that we’re light-years ahead of Europe in the installation of wheelchair ramps and accessible bathrooms, elevators, etc… at least in public spaces.

One major problem with a lot of UN stuff is that the language is often dangerously vague. From the Wikipedia article–

"States Parties should take appropriate measure such as:

  1. To enables [sic] persons with disabilities to have the opportunity to develop and utilize their creative, artistic and intellectual potential, not only for their own benefit, but also for the enrichment of society."

Now just what precisely does that MEAN? It could be defined in any way that somebody in authority wanted it to be defined. The imagination of the authorities is the only limiting factor. I see a quote from Sen. Mike Lee that mentions homeschooling. What if the authorities decide that a disabled child MUST be sent to public school in order to “develop and utilize their creative, artistic and intellectual potential”?

In short, this sort of thing has massive potential to be used to trample roughshod over people’s rights.

That’s the point. This was to try to get the rest of the world to sign on to America’s standards. But because of how utterly stupid the Republican party in America is, we wouldn’t sign off on that.

Don’t you think that undercuts the message?

I’ll do my best.

I and many other people are opposed to this treaty because we don’t think that the United States government should pledge to do a whole lot of stuff that’s expensive and wasteful and serves little or no purpose and that violates the rights of individuals and private businesses. For example, from Article 8 of the Treaty:

  1. States Parties undertake to adopt immediate, effective and appropriate measures:

    To raise awareness throughout society, including at the family level, regarding persons with disabilities, and to foster respect for the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities;
    To combat stereotypes, prejudices and harmful practices relating to persons with disabilities, including those based on sex and age, in all areas of life;
    To promote awareness of the capabilities and contributions of persons with disabilities.

Measures to this end include:

Initiating and maintaining effective public awareness campaigns designed:
    To nurture receptiveness to the rights of persons with disabilities;
    To promote positive perceptions and greater social awareness towards persons with disabilities;
    To promote recognition of the skills, merits and abilities of persons with disabilities, and of their contributions to the workplace and the labour market;
Fostering at all levels of the education system, including in all children from an early age, an attitude of respect for the rights of persons with disabilities;
Encouraging all organs of the media to portray persons with disabilities in a manner consistent with the purpose of the present Convention;
Promoting awareness-training programmes regarding persons with disabilities and the rights of persons with disabilities.

First of all, there’s no reason to believe that the United States has any need of more “awareness” about persons with disabilities. Pledging to spend money on publicity campaigns is therefore pledging to waste money. Why bother?

Likewise the idea that the government should address the portrayal of disabled people in the media is a waste of time as well as silly. The media are not the government’s business; it says so in the First Amendment. And with regards to education, don’t we already have enough goofy, politically requirements with which to meddle with school curricula? What’s the point of adding more?

And so forth. If you read the treaty itself, you’ll see that it’s a cavalcade of warm-and-fuzzy language, intended to be ambiguous in exactly what it’s calling for, but giving the government plenty of opportunity to meddle with the actions of businesses and local governments. Further, it does require the US government to establish a “focal point”, a “coordination mechanism”, and one or more “independent mechanisms” for overseeing all this blather, and while it’s obviously deliberately unclear what exactly this means, it certainly will involve spending taxpayer money.

Fundamentally, if advocates of the treaty think that ratifying the treaty is a good thing, why don’t they make a case for it, rather than just complaining about anyone who dares to act against it?

Are you under the impression that the treaty would change US law?

You should stop listening to Rick Santorum. He’s a crazy person.

When Drudge links to an article about the treaty with this teaser:

Isn’t it obvious we should be against it? Whew! That was close.

Gee, you sure are clever, aren’t you?

If, at some point, you decide to respond to the points that I made in my post, I’ll be happy to read that response.

The right wing lives in a paranoid world where the UN black helicopters are about to descend and castrate them. The true irony was Bob Dole and John McCain supporting this treaty which was turned down by the party they wasted their lives supporting.

Yeah, I’m okay. :smiley:

I was asking a question to see if you understood the overall issue. Instead it seems you are bogged down in confusion about details.

Let me put it this way. Answer this question: Does ratifying the treaty do anything in law?

If yes, then I’m against it because the treaty is a mess of useless feel-good verbiage which can mean anything, everything, and nothing, and a ratified treaty becomes the law of the land.

If no, then I’m against it because it’s incredibly stupid. Stop wasting the time of the government with utterly useless wastes of paper designed to get a pointless and idiotic feel-good reaction. Every time I hear about my legislature passing some moronic resolution about how bad we feel about the plight of the [disabled/blind/autistic/lost kittens], I wonder what in the world people pay them for, and why thy shouldn’t be tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail.

Basically, you can’t win this one because the UN rigged the game in favor of Amazing Stupidity forever ago. For this to have wasted even five seconds of the Senate’s time is cause enough for me to wonder if we can’t pass a law requiring whomever submitted it to be kicked in the vulnerables every hour on the hour until he (or she) begs and pleads that he (or she) will stop being a complete moron. I know this must come as a shock, but our nation’s highest lawmaking body should stop wasting its time on useless verbiage which insults the intelligence of every single living American, while accomplishing nothing whatsoever.

In short, you can’t win this argument precisely because you are outraged - OUTRAGED! - that people don’t want to deal with pointless nonsense. You yourself not only admit, but proudly proclaim, that the treaty does nothing. In which case, throw it in the trash where all meaningless resolutions, half-baked bills, and other examples of emotion masquerading as work belong.