ONTD Political

Rick Santorum Opposes Equal Rights Treaty For People With Disabilities

9:58 am - 11/28/2012
By Aviva Shen

On Tuesday afternoon, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) read a letter from former Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS) imploring Senate Republicans to ratify a United Nations treaty affirming equal rights for disabled individuals. Dole, who was hospitalized on Tuesday, was a World War II veteran who suffered lasting disabilities after his service.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced Monday that he plans to bring the treaty up for a vote in the Senate — but, despite widespread support for the measure, Republicans seem bent on killing it again this time around after blocking Democrats’ last attempt to ratify the treaty in August.

Former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum is leading the charge against the treaty. Santorum, whose daughter was born with a rare genetic disorder, takes issue with protections that allow the state to separate a child from a parent if “such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child,” such as in cases of emotional or physical abuse. At a press conference with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Santorum called this “a direct assault on us and our family.” He expanded on that point in an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan on Monday night:

It’s the convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities, which sounds like a wonderful thing. But the problem is there’s a provision in this international law which we would be adopting if the Senate ratifies this that puts the state, the state in the position of determining what is in the best interest of a disabled child. And as the — as the father of a little girl who, if you look up the medical definition of her condition, says it’s incompatible with life, I hesitate to think what those in government and in charge would think that — how our daughter should be treated and what medical treatment should be available to her if her diagnosis is — it’s incompatible with life.
And so this would be something unprecedented in American law to give the state the ultimate authority as to what is in the best interest of your child. Historically the United States has been clear. Parents, unless they’re unfit for some reason, get that decision. This would change under this convention, and that’s why Karen and I stood forward today and along with Mike Lee from Utah, and said we have to oppose this.

Watch it:

The treaty, which bans discrimination against people with disabilities, was originally signed in 2006 under George W. Bush’s administration and re-signed in 2009 by President Obama. More than 150 nations have signed it and 126 have already ratified it, and it is backed by a range of disabilities and veterans groups as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The specific article that Santorum is concerned about actually ensures that disabled children are not separated from parents against their will or on the basis of their disability or a parent’s disability. Only in cases where a judge determines a child is being abused or neglected would a separation be allowed. This is more or less identical to the U.S.’ current policy, which Santorum himself acknowledges.

In fact, as Dana Milbank points out, the treaty requires other nations to model their laws on the Americans With Disabilities Act, which already forbids discrimination based on disability.

The ADA ensures that Santorum’s daughter, Bella, cannot be blocked from going to school or from receiving the medical treatment and accommodations she needs. In opposing the treaty, Santorum is actually opposing those same protections for other disabled people all around the world.

miriamele 28th-Nov-2012 11:55 pm (UTC)
One day I'd love to read something featuring this douche and be surprised by how not stupid it is.

Yeah, I will keep dreaming.
skellington1 29th-Nov-2012 01:21 am (UTC)
One day I'd love to never read anything else about this douche again.
miriamele 29th-Nov-2012 01:31 am (UTC)
Yeah, you definitely made that better.
skellington1 29th-Nov-2012 01:33 am (UTC)
Your original version seemed nice, but sadly unachievable. I want to have home, darn it!
kitanabychoice 29th-Nov-2012 12:08 am (UTC)
It sounds like he is just misinterpreting one section of this treaty. o_O If you aren't abusing your disabled child, there's nothing to worry about.
sio 29th-Nov-2012 12:12 am (UTC)
this post needs the "fuck this guy" tag added.

amazing that he has a disabled daughter but wants to take away the rights of those like her. what an ass.
nitasee 29th-Nov-2012 12:20 am (UTC)
Well, that's 'cause he know better than everyone. And, yes, that is sarcasm.
bushy_brow 29th-Nov-2012 12:22 am (UTC)
Santorum is being a dick? Film at eleven...

In opposing the treaty, Santorum is actually opposing those same protections for other disabled people all around the world.

And this is surprising why, exactly? That's standard operating procedure for the GOP. "I got mine, screw you!"
masakochan 29th-Nov-2012 12:36 am (UTC)
karma_aster 29th-Nov-2012 12:49 am (UTC)
Complete lack of common sense isn't considered a protected condition under this treaty, is it?
skellington1 29th-Nov-2012 01:23 am (UTC)
I believe it's a learned (well, failed-to-learn) behavior, rather than an innate condition. At least in this case. It goes with the similar total failure in reading comprehension.
robintheshrew 29th-Nov-2012 01:02 am (UTC)
Why am I not surprised?
unbridledglee 29th-Nov-2012 01:05 am (UTC)
effervescent 29th-Nov-2012 05:35 am (UTC)
Awesome gif. <3
tiddlywinks103 29th-Nov-2012 01:39 am (UTC)
I do love how these people always use the buzzword of "unprecedented' a.k.a "New! Never seen before! Not familiar!! Abort! Abort! Tradition is best!" to whine about ANYthing that seeks to change the current inequalities in our society. It's all about creating fear in basic-ass people, like change is evil, and will destroy what America is about, when NOT changing is what's really killing it, and them, and they are just too hate-filled and ignorant to get it.
kaymyth 29th-Nov-2012 02:29 am (UTC)
Of course they don't. The Republicans looked at a thing and said, "Aaa! The Democrats are supporting a thing! Quickly, we must make up a reason to oppose it!" And thus gridlock is formed.
rkt 29th-Nov-2012 06:46 am (UTC)
it would be funny, if it wasn't also true
lickbrains 29th-Nov-2012 02:33 am (UTC)

dafuq is he reading, honestly????
tothechangmin 29th-Nov-2012 02:49 am (UTC)
i don't know what the fuck he's saying but he needs to stop and gtfo
wrestlingdog 29th-Nov-2012 03:16 am (UTC)

I just fucking cannot.
silver_apples 29th-Nov-2012 03:48 am (UTC)
The state already has the power to remove children from abusive homes, or is Santorum planning on challenging that next?

I'm surprised he didn't come right out and say "death panel".
fluteaphrael 29th-Nov-2012 10:56 am (UTC)
Exactly thank you. How is this any different than cases where a disabled young adult has gone to court because their parents want to force them to or not to have a treatment that their doctor says is useful.

Or that the child is being abused or not given any treatment and the courts step in.

US law already has these provisions in every single state of the union.

And I'm sorry but it's kind of awful to be using his daughter's condition this way. I have no clue about Miss Santorum's condition and I'm really not interested in Googling her now, but seriously? Talking about her like she's some political football and not a person in her own right? That's nasty.
magus_69 29th-Nov-2012 06:55 am (UTC)
Fuck You
astra_aurora 29th-Nov-2012 10:36 am (UTC)
Fuck that guy, seriously.
anjak_j 29th-Nov-2012 07:26 pm (UTC)
I feel sorry for that kid, having such an ableist prick for a father. And the fact that he's using her as a political football is just really fucking gross.

Santorum, this disabled person says, "Sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up!"
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