Alienating The Electorate, Nineteen Million Americans At A Time

Ladles and Jellyspoons!

As Anne Laurie has so ably documented, your modern GOP has once again managed to be both vicious and stupidly self-destructive.  This time, it’s their wisdom in the decision to piss on  some 19% of the American people — from a considerable height — in the process of  blocking ratification of the UN treaty on the rights of the disabled.*

The wickedness at the heart of the trumped up objections that led 38 Republican senators to tell our disabled brothers and sisters that they do not rate equal protection under the law is, I think, obvious.  It’s well documented, at any rate. (Link via Anne Laurie.)

So, yeah.  To channel my inner Dennis Green,** the Republicans are who we thought we were.

Evil.

Dumb (also too).

Fresh on the heels of repeated, reasonably high profile forays into insulting Obama voters, minority voters, Asian-Americans, Latino-Americans, and whoever they’ll figure out they hate next, it turns out there are a fair number of disabled folks in this country.

How many?

According to the US Census Bureau [pdf], as of 2010, 56.7 million Americans from the civilian, non-institutionalized population had a disability — that’s 18.7% of the US population.  Of those, 38.3 million, 12.6 percent, had a severe disability (as defined in Table 1 of the linked report).***  

Bringing it down to the sharp edge of what it takes to make it through the day,  “About 12.3 million people aged 6 and older (4.4%) needed assistance with one or more activities of daily living (ADLs) or instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs).  (See p. 9 of the linked report for definitions of those terms of art.)

That’s a lot of folks, no matter what level of disability you choose to emphasize.  They’ve all got families — and that’s a lot more people.  [Full disclosure — this is an issue that has at times, though not now, impinged on my own family.] They have friends too…and you get the point.

Befoere stating the obvious about the wisdom of the GOP vote in light of these facts, let me drop in a bit of anecdotage.

A few Sundays ago, I was up in New Hampshire, knocking on doors to get out our vote.  I and my partner were nearing the end of our list, and, after a rough beginning — first stop at a house where the vehemence with which we were ordered off the property bordered on the “or I’ll get my gun” territory — we’d had mostly good quick conversations, the “yup, I’m voting for your guy” kind.

We had split up at that point, my colleague taking a couple of houses down the road while I walked up a little hill to an old house on one of those big New Hampshire yards that always look like they’re thinking about being a farm.  It was a gorgeous afternoon, and I saw one woman out doing yard work, so I didn’t bother with the door bell.

She was soft spoken, and little reserved, and she told me that she really didn’t do politics, that I needed to talk to her partner.  She very kindly walked me a little further up the hill and called out, and then almost a cliche of a tough old New Hampshire bird came rolling down on an ATV to talk to me — a small woman, well into middle age (look who’s talking, pilgrim!), lots of daylight on that face over the years, thick New Hampshire accent and an air of utter no-nonsense competence.  Reminded me a lot of the best sergeants I’ve met over the years.

She liked to talk as much as her partner craved quiet, and we had a great conversation, sharing our disdain and horror at the person and prospects of W. Mitt Romney.  She agreed to volunteer for the campaign and I gave her contact info, and then we got to trading greatest hits (the horse as tax deduction! “Our turn!”).  Then I mentioned the 47%, and we starting going over who actually lives inside that number — the old, I said, students…the disabled.

At that, the first women I’d met suddenly spoke up. She’d been standing off to one side the entire time (ten minutes or so, now), clearly defining herself as audience and not participant in our little GOP loathe-fest.  But now it was as if a valve blew.  She was, she said, herself disabled, couldn’t work.  Was it really true, she asked me, that Romney had said that about the 47%? That she herself was a taker?

Yup, I said.

That’s it, she said.  That makes me mad.

We talked a bit longer — really it was a grand way to spend twenty minutes on a stunning New England afternoon, revving each other up to take action on our own and our country’s behalf.  The sun was kind, the trees still had some color, and I was talking to two people who were not just going to vote, but do whatever they could to drive a stake through the vampires that both exsanguinate our politics and work to deny the possibility of American dreams for so many of our fellow citizens.

So though I think it both tragedy and travesty that 38 scumbags senators blew up the UN treaty, I take a residue of comfort in seeing the Grand Old Party reaffirm its commitment to alienate an ever greater majority of the American people.  The party cannot collapse too soon — but I suppose I could say we owe our friends in the minority a debt of thanks for doing so much on their own to advance that goal.

Factio Grandaeva Delenda Est

*That treaty would, by the way, be the international agreement that would enshrine one more example of American Exceptionalism (in the good sense), with the US actually playing the role of that shining city on a hill that offers a light to the nations, being as it is more or less the enshrinement in international law of the landmark protections and perspective of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

**Get him out of me. RIGHT NOW!

***those numbers are based on sampling, not derived from the total census, and the report records a 90% confidence level in the significance of the estimates — which isn’t great.  But the broad magnitudes are what matters here, not the decimal places. Tens of millions of folks with disability is the key take away for this argument.

Image:  El Greco, Christ healing the blind, c. 1567

 

 

97 replies
  1. 1
    Svensker says:

    It’s not that they’re against helping disabled people, it’s that they don’t want the New World Order to implant us all with potato chips. Or something. I’m not quite clear on the details.

  2. 2
    EconWatcher says:

    OT, but it’s looking like Terry McAuliffe will end up the Dem nominee for governor in Virginia next year.

    I’ve led a wayward and sinful life, but this is more than I deserve. Please, just shoot me now. For the love of FSM, don’t leave me here to suffer like this.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    But now it was as if a valve blew. She was, she said, herself disabled, couldn’t work. Was it really true, she asked me, that Romney had said that about the 47%? That she herself was a taker?

    Thanks for reminding us again of the importance of personal outreach.

    It’s possible the treaty might pass next year if the GOP gets enough pushback. We’ll have two more Dems in the Senate, and I think we only need a few more Republicans to get it to 67.

  4. 4
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @EconWatcher: I hope Perriello takes him on.

  5. 5
    JPL says:

    Tom, That was such a beautiful post and I can only hope that at some point the GOP will shrink enough to drown in a bathtub.

    also, too.. nice pics.

  6. 6
    EconWatcher says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Perriello announced today he won’t, and endorsed McAuliffe. Hence my yearning for the sweet embrace of death.

  7. 7
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @EconWatcher: Whoops, missed that news. Shyte.

  8. 8
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    The Republicans only voted against the treaty because it had no provision to push the handicapped onto passing ice floes.

  9. 9
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
    Yet the Democrats were the party of ZOMG OBAMACARE DEATH PANELS!

    Clearly, the solution is making persuading the disabled to think of themselves as Americans first.

    I mean, come the fuck on; the Republicans has loudly trumpeted that they don’t give a flying fuck about minorities, women, the disabled, LGBT, and anyone making less than 6 figures a year. So why in the hell should any of those groups vote for people who aren’t going to represent their interests?

  10. 10
    Zifnab25 says:

    I heard somewhere else that Bob Dole himself came down to the Senate to lobby for the vote from a wheelchair.

    Ah, here it is:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12......html?_r=0

    Seriously, to look the former GOP Senate Majority Leader in the eyes and pull this shit? That’s cold, bro.

    Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas praised the treaty in a news release with Mr. McCain in May but voted against it. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi voted yes at the beginning of the roll call vote and then switched his vote to no. Calls to the offices of Mr. Moran and Mr. Cochran were not returned.

  11. 11
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Svensker:

    they don’t want the New World Order to implant us all with potato chips.

    Fat-laden potato-based snacks would probably improve the logical abilities of some of these folks. An improvement over Cheetos, anyway.

  12. 12
    The Dangerman says:

    They were confused over it being ACA as opposed to ADA because they are ADD.

  13. 13
    Paul says:

    @Jay in Oregon:

    I mean, come the fuck on; the Republicans has loudly trumpeted that they don’t give a flying fuck about minorities, women, the disabled, LGBT, and anyone making less than 6 figures a year. So why in the hell should any of those groups vote for people who aren’t going to represent their interests?

    Good question. But it never seems to change much. Romney got 47% of the vote, which includes many of the groups you mentioned above. Many folks think it is more important that the gay couple next door are forbidden to marry than their own economic self-interest.

    At the gym I go to I usually see a guy in a wheel-chair. He is in his fifties. As he works out, he always watches FoxNews. This eventhough there are 8-9 other TV’s choose from.

    I wonder what his excuse for the GOP vote on his treaty might be? I’m guessing that lower taxes for the rich is more important to him than some treaty that benefits handicapped folks. This eventhough he doesn’t strike me as a billionaire.

  14. 14
    Gex says:

    You know, as the boomers continue to age, they might want to consider the fact that even straight white Christian men can start having mobility issues.

    And sadly, that is probably what it will actually take, like on so many other issues. None of these issues are real issues until they plague that specific demographic.

  15. 15
    mai naem says:

    Next up in the line of fire, left handed people(that would include Bush Sr and Reagan.) This will be quickly followed by people with black hair and green eyes. After that, it’ll be folks with “innie” belly buttons. GOP will not stand for Grand Old Party anymore. They’ll have to change their nickname to Lil Ole Party or LOP.

  16. 16
    Redshift says:

    @EconWatcher: Come on, you’re in Virginia. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about statewide politics, it’s best to keep your expectations low. Really good people can’t get elected here.

  17. 17
    burnspbesq says:

    @EconWatcher:

    McAuliffe vs. Cuccinelli. Merde.

    Don’t know if I’ve ever seen a better example of Hobson’s choice.

  18. 18
    Rosie Outlook says:

    You owe every vampire in America an apology for comparing them to Republican politicians.

    And those politicians owe crippled war hero Bob Dole an apology. How many modern Republican politicians even served as peacetime reservists? They aren’t fit to be on the same planet as that man.

  19. 19
    Roger Moore says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Don’t know if I’ve ever seen a better example of Hobson’s choice.

    That’s choosing the lesser of two evils. Hobson’s Choice is take it or leave it.

  20. 20
    KG says:

    @Zifnab25: not just former Senate Majority Leader… former Presidential Nominee of the Republican Party, former Vice-Presidential Nominee of the Republican Party, and former Chairman of the Republican National Committee. That’s some life long Republicanism being shat upon because those liberals like George Bush and Barack Obama would dare sign an international treaty like that!

  21. 21
    burnspbesq says:

    @Roger Moore:

    No, it’s not a lesser-of-two-evils decision. It’s a true Hobson’s choice, a seeming choice that is in fact illusory because both alternatives suck.

  22. 22
    Paul says:

    @KG:

    I wonder why Moderate Republicans (such as Dole, Lugar etc) who have nothing in common with the extremist elements (who really are not much different than the people running Iran) in their own party, have chosen to remain Republicans. By staying in the same party they take ownership of the same opinions that the nutcases believe in. In this case, Dole has a choice to make. By remaining Republican, he really shouldn’t complain.

  23. 23
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Svensker: Well, if they’re Mikesells chips then count me in!

  24. 24
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @KG:

    not just former Senate Majority Leader… former Presidential Nominee of the Republican Party, former Vice-Presidential Nominee of the Republican Party, and former Chairman of the Republican National Committee. That’s some life long Republicanism being shat upon

    First they came for the RINOs, and I said nothing…

  25. 25
    kdaug says:

    @Svensker:

    It’s not that they’re against helping disabled people, it’s that they don’t want the New World Order to implant us all with potato chips. Or something. I’m not quite clear on the details.

    I’m really trying hard to work this out – I have a Christmas coming up with my R/W family folks, and it has proved important to know at least the basics of where they’re coming from.

    So the jist is that the UN treaty will make black helicopters take away disabled babies?

    Not trying to be funny – really trying to figure this out. That just sounds impossibly stupid on it’s face.

  26. 26
    Maude says:

    @mai naem:
    Obama is left handed. They’ll get to it soon enough.

    Reid said he would bring the treaty up for a vote in the next Congress.

  27. 27
    Seanly says:

    But, but, but Black UN Helicopters stealing disabled babies from their cribs while the X-File Alien Beekeepers look on and rub their liberal hands with glee!

    I seriously can’t fathom that we have Senators voting based on insanely paranoid ravings. Where do they get their information? If my father-in-law told me he was against the treaty because of the very things Inhofe & others mentioned I would start laughing my butt off at him.

  28. 28
    Paul says:

    @Svensker:

    It’s not that they’re against helping disabled people, it’s that they don’t want the New World Order to implant us all with potato chips. Or something. I’m not quite clear on the details.

    To believe something like this, one has to be dumber than a rock. Hell, the Unites States has veto power in the UN. We can stop whatever these morons are afraid of.

    Anyway, it is one thing for less informed Republicans in the deep South to fall for something like this. But Republicans in the Senate??? When you thought the Senate couldn’t become more stupid…

  29. 29
    Yutsano says:

    @kdaug: Which the treaty itself says can no longer be done. I’d find them marginally consistent if they were opposed because Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick, but they opted for Black Helicopters instead. Can I haz TARDIS naow plz?

  30. 30
    MikeJ says:

    @Maude:

    Obama is left handed.

    Sinister.

  31. 31
    Pavonis says:

    @kdaug: The GOP excuse had something to do with home schooling. I didn’t understand because the U.N. treaty makes no changes to U.S. law.

  32. 32
    👽 Martin says:

    Of those, 38.3 million, 12.6 percent, had a severe disability (as defined in Table 1 of the linked report)

    Let’s say half are voting eligible and a third again would actually vote. So that’s about 6.1 million voters.

    The argument against the treaty was that it would impact home schoolers. There are about 2 million home schooled kids. Assuming half parents would actually vote, that’s about 1 million voters.

    Hmm.

  33. 33
    Yutsano says:

    @MikeJ: Quite.

  34. 34
    WereBear says:

    I do believe they rely upon us bleedin’ heart liberals to get the ramp up at the local post office; so they can still be as stupid as they want to be.

  35. 35
    D0n Camillo says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    I wonder if Bob Dole regrets helping the Swift Boaters now. Then again, fuck him.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/57.....L_pr6y1S1w

  36. 36
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @kdaug:

    So the jist is that the UN treaty will make black helicopters take away disabled babies?

    The gist is that meddling UN bureaucrats will have the power to make you do for your child what they define as best, rather than what you define as best. Stateless blue-helmeted death panels declaring your precious, sickly snowflake to be a burden on the world. Yes, it’s beyond stupid, but that’s Republicanism for you.

  37. 37
    trollhattan says:

    @Svensker:

    it’s that they don’t want the New World Order to implant us all with potato chips.

    That sounds delicious! I welcome my blue-helmeted snack overlords.

  38. 38
    Roger Moore says:

    @burnspbesq:

    It’s a true Hobson’s choice, a seeming choice that is in fact illusory because both alternatives suck.

    But a Hobson’s choice is not a choice between two sucky alternatives that are basically identical. It’s a take it or leave it choice. A Hobson’s choice election would be one with only one candidate, where you can vote for the candidate or not vote for him, but there isn’t any other candidate to choose from.

  39. 39
    👽 Martin says:

    @kdaug:

    So the jist is that the UN treaty will make black helicopters take away disabled babies?

    The real gist is that any overarching policy threatens the sovereignty of the US. So, the Geneva Convention means that Dick Cheney can’t crush your kids testicles, and while they may feel that your kids testicles should never be crushed, they don’t think the UN should dictate that policy to us.

    Ultimately they’re afraid that violations of these policies will subject the US to the Intl Criminal Court. That if you don’t give your homeschooled child a proper wheelchair ramp and orthopedic shoes, that someone from France will report you and the blue helmets will come and haul you off to The Hague, or the UN will impose sanctions and block the import of iPhones or some shit.

    The substance of the treaty is actually meaningless in this case – it’s the symbolism of the US being neutered by the UN or the ICC, even if the treaty has no teeth whatsoever. It’s american exceptionalism in it’s purest and stupidest form: I know I’m on fire, but I won’t stop, drop, and roll simply because I am a sovereign agent and you can’t make me. I would rather burn to death.

  40. 40
    RSA says:

    Great post, Tom. At the most basic level, for issues like this, politics is personal.

    @Jay in Oregon:

    So why in the hell should any of those groups vote for people who aren’t going to represent their interests?

    “Republicans aren’t talking about me being a taker! I deserve my mobility scooter.” This seems to be the view of a lot of Republican voters (Tom’s experience being an exception, I hope one of a growing number.)

  41. 41
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Don’t know if this was mentioned, but Rupert Murdoch’s mother died today at age 103. I guess that ‘only the good die young, but pricks live forever’ thing applies to family members too.

  42. 42

    @kdaug:
    Also not trying to be funny: Because Obama hates America and wants to destroy the American Way Of Life, he agreed to a treaty that gives the UN the power to take away, reeducate, or kill our children if any excuse can be found to label that child ‘disabled’. The UN has been looking for a way to do this for a long time, because they hate that America is the one truly free nation. Don’t bother telling them that the treaty doesn’t do any of that and has no power anyway. They heard it on the internet, so it must be true.

    That is the reasoning, with no humor or exaggerations inserted.

    There is one alternate reasoning. ‘I know the treaty is harmless, but I hate Obama and don’t mind spitting on the disabled if I can insult him in a very token way.’

    EDIT – @👽 Martin: very well depicts the thought/emotion process, which I feel is different from the official reasoning.

  43. 43
    kdaug says:

    @Yutsano:

    Can I haz TARDIS naow plz?

    Not yet.

    So the helicopters only take away home-schooled disabled babies?

    This is some twisted Krumpus story, right?

    Reckon it’s the season, but this is really getting weird.

  44. 44
    quannlace says:

    More and more I’m hoping there really is an after life with some kind of reckoning. So Santorum will have to atone for all the damage he’s done in this life.

  45. 45
    Maude says:

    @👽 Martin:
    A good example is John Bolton. The lies he told were only outdone by the number of women he chased in hotels.

  46. 46
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Them disable fellers oughta get up and walk on their own two feet like the rest of us!

    No but, seriously, I don’t get it. This is a symbolic treaty. There’s not even a chance of it raising horrible scary taxes. How much of a dick do you have to be?

    I’m reaching here, but maybe disability breaks the smooth plane of their everyone-gets-what-they-deserve credo. It’s got nothing to do with indigent behavior and everything to do with being in the wrong car/motorcycle/etc at the wrong time. But they’re worried that if people with bad luck get aid for their disability, people might start thinking that other things, like wealth and employment, have a lot more to do with luck than the GOP lets on. So the disabled people have to be sacrificed for the greater glory of Ayn Rand, like everyone else in this country.

  47. 47

    I have to wonder what someone like Sarah Palin thinks about this. After all, she told the disabled community that if she were vice president, they’d have an advocate in the highest office of the government. And I have a friend whose son is autistic for whom that message resonated very, very deeply.

    But Palin is also part of that wingnut, Alaska Independence Party, Teanut, Tenther, UN-black-helicopters-ZOMG-Everybody-Panic crowd. So … which impulse is stronger? Hatred of the UN or love for the disabled?

  48. 48
    Paul says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    There is one alternate reasoning. ‘I know the treaty is harmless, but I hate Obama and don’t mind spitting on the disabled if I can insult him in a very token way.’

    I’m sure this is part of it. When in 2009 it was announced that Chicago did not get the 2020 Olympics, there was a Republican conference going on. They interrupted the conference to make the announcement and the participants had a spontaneous standing ovation to cheer the fact that the United States did not get the Olympics. They saw this is a defeat for Obama since he had tried to get it for us.

    These nutcases have shown time after time that they care more about their party than our country. I bet that they would burn our flag if that somehow would make Obama look bad.

  49. 49
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Southern Beale: The crazy-ass Republican take on this is that it IS a statement of love for the disabled. By not approving the treaty, they’re protecting American disabled people from international stormtroopers.

  50. 50
    SuperHrefna says:

    … I come before you
    To stand behind you
    And tell you something
    I know nothing about…

    I LOVED that poem as a child, and those lines do remind me of today’s GOP :-)

  51. 51
    aimai says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Wrong. Hobson’s Choice was no choice at all. Hobson was the owner of a stable and you had to take the horse stabled closest to the door if you wanted to rent one of his horses. Hobson had the choice, you didn’t. To “take Hobson’s choice” means that you take what you are given.

    aimai

  52. 52
    kdaug says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    ’m reaching here, but maybe disability breaks the smooth plane of their everyone-gets-what-they-deserve credo. It’s got nothing to do with indigent behavior and everything to do with being in the wrong car/motorcycle/etc at the wrong time.

    Gah. What about the “I went to war for you fuckers and took a bullet/had my legs blown off/burned half-to-death in a fire” contingent?

    Ribbon magnets and tiny flags?

    Howzabout you take your misshapen offspring into a hole somewhere under the barn? You can teach them all about Jesus, Dinosaurs, and Scooby-Doo, and hide them away from scary helicopters.

    Just keep them the fuck out of the Senate.

  53. 53
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @aimai: Aren’t both ideas encapsulated in the notion that a Hobson’s Choice is an apparent choice that is really no choice at all? Wiki on Hobson’s choice.

  54. 54
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @kdaug: That’s because it is impossibly stupid.

  55. 55
    aimai says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Sarah Palin doesn’t think anything about this because its exactly what she prefers. First of all, she was patently lying about being an advocate for the disabled in the white house because all the things the disabled need require government action and tax money, which she rejects as potential solutions. Second of all her ideas about what is “good” for the disabled run through crude notions of family “responsibility,” Christian resignation and suffering, and lowered expectations generally for independence and autonomy for children. She would absolutely have opposed anything that smacked of children’s rights because children can have no rights over and against their parents–not to abortion, tattoos, health care, eyeglasses, or education.

    All this discussion of the disabled elderly misses the point–the fox news demographic whipped up hysteria over the idea that recognizing people with disabilities as full on citizens and autonomous individuals would disturb parental control over minor children and unmarried teens. Without the power to control children white supremacists, religious nutcases, home schoolers trying to limit contact between their children and the outside world could conceivably be in trouble. Children do not have a constitutional right to the “pursuit of happiness” and the right wing has been very clear about this.

    My guess is that the majority of people who the senators feared simply don’t think the issue of adult disabled rights and ada compliance affects them because they take for granted that the good parts of the bill will continue. Just like these goons vote against environmental protection because “its not so smoggy anymore.”

    aimai

    aimai

  56. 56
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Yutsano: those helicopters aren’t laughing, either

  57. 57
    Svensker says:

    @kdaug:

    So the jist is that the UN treaty will make black helicopters take away disabled babies?

    My brother tells me that North Korea and Myanmar (et al) will boss around Americans and that those untermenschen commie dictators/mooslims/crummy peeps will be able to force home-schoolers to put ramps and wheelchair accessible bathrooms in their houses.

    At least, I think that’s what they’re worried about. It makes no sense so it’s hard to hold it in memory.

    Or what @👽 Martin: said.

  58. 58
    aimai says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    As I understand it Burnspesqu is arguing that Hobson’s choice is a choice in which both choices are bad and therefore equal–there are no good choices so you are indifferent. That’s not it. There is no choice but Hobson’s–it may be good or bad but you don’t get a say in it. But its not between two equivalent choices (both good or both bad).

    aimai

  59. 59
    cmorenc says:

    @Southern Beale:

    I have to wonder what someone like Sarah Palin thinks about this. After all, she told the disabled community that if she were vice president, they’d have an advocate in the highest office of the government.

    The answer is that in Sarah Palin’s mind, there is no conflict between being an advocate for the disabled, and being an opponent of ceding an inch of US sovereignty or enablement to the UN. That’s because to her mind, the best, and indeed only advocacy or aid needed for the disabled is that which is entirely home-brewed within our country, or better yet, in the individual states rather than by way of the federal government. See? No conflict here in her mind, any more than refusing to approve a child-care assistance pact with a child molester.

    Yes, that’s bat-shit insane, but that’s how her thinking likely would go, if asked.

  60. 60
    Tehanu says:

    I’m hard of hearing — not deaf (not completely, not yet) but have worn hearing aids most of my adult life. What really makes me furious about these assholes is that as senators they have top-quality health insurance that pays for hearing aids — whereas even the expensive insurance I used to have years ago didn’t, and the crappy insurance I just dropped because I qualified for Medicare — and Medicare — don’t pay for them either. And the cheap ones are $1,200 each. It would do the Senate (and the country) a world of good to have all their perks cut. I’m certainly sick of paying taxes so they can mooch off me.

  61. 61
    fuckwit says:

    Folks this shit is SO OBVIOUS, just look at Frothy Mixture’s response.

    This is all about OLD MALE CHRISTIAN STRAIGHT PATRIARCHS and RELIGIOUS FUCKERS wanting to abuse and dominate everyone else. They want to hold all the cards, and will not surrender any of them to we, the people.

    This is the power they are loathe to give up.

    They want the leverage to dominate anyone who is poor, or female, or single, or disabled, or sick.

    See, because, if you’re disabled, or sick, and you need help, and there’s no goverment, where do you turn?

    “The FAMILY”, and “The CHURCHES”.

    Meaning: if you want help, you must supplicate yourself and grovel before some fucking family patriarch holding you by the gonads, or some religious asshole, demanding that you “accept jesus christ as your personal savior” in order to get help.

    Want soup? Then you’d better sit through this sermon. Want birth control? Not at this catholic hospital you don’t.

    It’s coercion, pure and simple. Economic coercion. A transparent power play.

    For the life of me, I do not understand why so many libertarians don’t get this. Religions are coercive institutions. Patriarchal families are coercive institutions– anyone who’s been the victim of domestic violence or abuse knows this. Nobody who believes in freedom should be giving those coercive institutions any more power than they already have.

    Oh and corporations too. They’ll happily fill any vacuum left by government too.

    Pisses me off something fierce.

  62. 62
    Anne Laurie says:

    @kdaug:

    So the jist is that the UN treaty will make black helicopters take away disabled babies?
    __
    Not trying to be funny – really trying to figure this out. That just sounds impossibly stupid on it’s face.

    For these guys, it’s all about control. The hated ADA — the American law upon which the UN convention is based — already insists that ‘we’ have to make ‘reasonable concessions’ to allow people with disabilities as much autonomy as possible. That means, if you’re a Christianist narcissist, that there are unsightly damaged little cripples & retards cluttering up your local public schools and raising your property taxes. It means the geek in a wheelchair gets a special parking space, convenient to the mall entrance, and if you dare to use it (just for a minute, after all your time is too valuable to waste walking from the far end of the lot), you’ll be glared at by the bleeding hearts or even worse, fined by the communist nanny state for doing so.

    For Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin, it specifically means that some bureaucrat might try to tell then that little Bella or Trig belongs in an early-intervention educational program, rather than being carted around as a political prop… I mean, rather than helping their parents campaign for FREEDOM (and the GOP). It means that if an intellectually challenged teenager or adult expresses an interest in sex, their pediatrician might discuss birth control rather than telling them that God will smite them. (Hey, a lobotomy was good enough for Joe Kennedy’s retard kid in the 1950s!)

    And, even worse, it means that the dread Nanny State might insist that the Duggars (in return for the welfare payments they’re surviving on) stop home-schooling their children with traditional family values like hitting infants with a wooden spoon ‘to break their disobedient spirit’, or turning little girls into household servants rather than educate them past their Godly station. Without proper supervision, the young Quiverfuls might even be told that evolution is a real thing (and so is ‘child sexual abuse’). Heresy!

    That’s what the ‘home-schooling’ phantasy is about — these sad monsters know their kids are only SAFE as long as they stay in the hermetically sealed right-wing-Christianist bubble. Every unsupervised play group or public-school classroom risks exposing their special snowflakes to dangerously impure ideas. Even the chance that, for instance, one of their playmates might have homosexual or bi-racial parents is potentially traumatizing… not so much for the kids, but for the parents.

    The less sophisticated among them are actually fearful that their kids will be stolen and indoctrinated into a hypersexualized version of the Red Guard. But IMO Rick Santorum, who sees an image of his Holy Father every time he looks in the mirror, just wants to grift those saps, while standing tall in defense of his right to control his unfortunate kids’ every thought, muc less action.

  63. 63
    Patricia Kayden says:

    I wonder if the Republicans would get rid of the ADA if they could. They seem so coldblooded that I wouldn’t doubt it.

  64. 64
    trollhattan says:

    @cmorenc:

    If I know our Sarah(tm) she’s of the belief that only folks who can afford to have babies with disabilities should be having them. Whether being able to afford it is achieved via the grift is another conversation entirely, also, too. You po’ folk just keep your damn pants zipped, nomsyn?

    And on THAT topic, Mr. Pierce on Mr. Douchehat.

    But this is no time to discuss what words mean, and you can turn an ankle in that final sentence — What’s that last “it’s” referring to? The basic obligation? The form” The point? The culture? — but you can only wade through this so far before asking, what the hell are you doing about this decadence, Ross? We know that there’s a certain reluctance in other homes to have little McArdlings scuttling through the pink Himalayan salt, but what’s going on at the Douthat manse? Get away from the keyboard. Stop lecturing the rest of us and, dammit, get to fking. The survival of the nation depends on your fecundity. Just, for the love of the living god, keep it to yourself, will you?

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/p.....z2EEQWIWz1

  65. 65
    efgoldman says:

    @EconWatcher:

    For the love of FSM, don’t leave me here to suffer like this.

    Is it a correct assumption that he’ll be running against The Cooch? If so, can enough women be mobilized in VA’s stupid double-off-year election?

  66. 66
    mai naem says:

    @EconWatcher: You’ve got some nerve bitching about Terry Mac. I am in AZ. Often, we don’t even have a Dem running for statewide offices. We had Terry Goddard who ran twice for Gov on the Dems. side. Nice guy, but seriously boooring with thenpersonality of cardboard. Richard Carmona who just lost the Senate election was the best Dem candidate for statewide office we’ve had in decades. And, no Janet Napolitano does not count. Dennis Deconcini was a sleazeball and part of the Keating 5. The last really good Dem we had in a statewide office was Bruce Babbitt in the early eighties.

  67. 67
    efgoldman says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    …because it had no provision to push the handicapped onto passing ice floes.

    They know goddamned well there won’t be any more ice floes.

  68. 68
    Punchy says:

    Would the teatards be more accepting if they were white helicopters instead?

  69. 69
    Anne Laurie says:

    @aimai: Beat me to it. I’m a slow typist!

  70. 70
    AxelFoley says:

    @mai naem:

    left handed people(that would include Bush Sr and Reagan.)

    Reagan was right-handed.

  71. 71
    JoyfulA says:

    @Tehanu: Hearing aids are so expensive instead of $39.95 because ever since I became eligible for AARP, I’ve been getting several pieces of mail a month from various hearing aid sellers. (I have no hearing problems whatsoever.) All those printing expenses and stamps and whatnot will add up to at least $1,000 by the time I have any hearing loss.

  72. 72
    Raven says:

    @JoyfulA: It’s amazing that every one of us that were in the Army or Marines in the 60’s don’t get hearing aids from the VA. Just the fact that we had no protection in training (with M-14’s) should be enough. Forget about the rest of it. I bought a pair of analog hearing aids and the noise scared the shit out of me so I got a refund.

  73. 73
    gbear says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    I wonder if the Republicans would get rid of the ADA if they could.

    The answer is yes. Yes they would.

  74. 74

    @aimai:
    THIS. God damn THIS.

    I’m not even going to add anything. I don’t want to distract from how well you put it.

  75. 75
    gbear says:

    I just remember 2010 and how it was a bit of a joke about how many people in mobility scooters showed up for tea party rallies (Keep the government out of my medicare!). I suppose these folks think of themselves as freedom fighters before considering themselves disabled, and they’ll go the distance in fighting for their vision of the USA as long as proper curb cuts are provided and their battery packs hold out.

  76. 76
    Emdee says:

    @gbear:

    I wonder if the Republicans would get rid of the ADA if they could.

    The answer is yes. Yes they would.

    The more you think about it, the more this has to be why they oppose it. I finally found an article saying that “Heritage Action for America” said they would score a vote on this treaty as a “key issue,” meaning that they’d oppose senators who voted for it.

    This is the political arm of the Heritage Foundation, and is a SuperPAC that doesn’t have to list donors (as far as I can tell), but the Heritage Foundation in general is highly dependent on money from the Koch family, and I would not be surprised one bit if they’re still trying to get ADA repealed.

    After all, this is the same group that spent $85,000 to oppose disabled Democrat (and now Representative-Elect) Tammy Duckworth, and another $23,000 supporting her opponent, Joe Walsh (R-everse those machines). That’s nearly $110,000 to keep Duckworth out, most of which was spent after October 11.

    The opposition to rights for the disabled goes deeper than the black helicopters. I think this treaty and Tammy Duckworth are to this crowd what Elizabeth Warren is to the banking industry. Don’t be distracted by the lunacy. Something’s going on here.

  77. 77
    Ruviana says:

    @AxelFoley: But Clinton though. In 1992, all three candidates were lefties, hands-wise. Proud moment for sinister me.

  78. 78
    Redshift says:

    @JoyfulA: Actually, I believe a lot of it is because they’re medical devices. Fifteen or twenty years ago, Radio Shack was selling a Walkman-type portable radio/cassette player (or maybe CD player) combo, that had the feature that there was a button you could press and a microphone input would be piped through the amplifier. A bunch of people begged them to sell it as a hearing aid, because the feature that hearing aid companies pushed was “it’s so small, people can’t tell you have a hearing aid!” But a lot of people would rather have a bigger device if it meant better sound (and even more now — wearing headphones and an electronic device wouldn’t stand out anywhere.)

    The reason Radio Shack didn’t do it was that they didn’t want to go through medical device certification. They still sold it, they just couldn’t call it a hearing aid, or take out ads in AARP publications hinting that it worked as one.

  79. 79
    cckids says:

    @Southern Beale:

    I have to wonder what someone like Sarah Palin thinks about this. After all, she told the disabled community that if she were vice president, they’d have an advocate in the highest office of the government.

    Sarah Palin lobbied hard in 2008 in CO, & possibly other states, against a tiny increase in the state sales tax that would fund adult group homes/day care/respite care for disabled adults; giving their increasingly aging & broke parents a break. Her only rationale was “taxes are bad, ask your church for help, everyone loves these special kids, etc, etc.” She had no comprehension of what a long life with a disabled child is like. And it was quite clear that she didn’t give a damn.

  80. 80
    cckids says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    The crazy-ass Republican take on this is that it IS a statement of love for the disabled. By not approving the treaty, they’re protecting American disabled people from international stormtroopers.

    Well, maybe this will solve our respite-care problem; the UN can come take our adult disabled son for weekends or something. Would give us our first break since 2004.

    I kid, I kid.

  81. 81
    1badbaba3 says:

    @cmorenc: I know you qualified it, but something about seeing the words ‘mind’ and ‘Sarah Palin’ in the same sentence just makes me feel… I dunno, like laughing my ass off.

    It’s like having a front row seat at the Tar Pits watching the creatures wade in one at a time. Somebody should probably say something to them, y’know, get ’em to stop. Maybe save a few.

    Anyone? Anyone?

  82. 82
    Redshift says:

    @burnspbesq: Oh, bullshit. Yeah, McAuliffe sucks. But he’s an annoying Clintonite corporatist, running for an office where he’d probably be no more of a corporatist than most of the previous Democratic governors. Cuccinelli is a Santorum-level wackaloon, or worse. If you see that as “no choice,” then perhaps you should give up on politics.

  83. 83
    Sherlock Hound says:

    It’s majority rule. I have sat on a commission in the town of Salem (MA) dedicated to disability issues.

    If I had a penny for all the times I and we were accused of being a minority, special-interest group…

    By our best estimates, 20% of Salemmites have a disability. We are a busy tourist town, as some know, and have a lot of people going through Salem, and stopping at our attractions. We have had a lot of disabled visitors, and many of them have told us how accessible Salem is.

    Does. Not. Matter.

    I saw a Gawker commenter today say something like, “HEY WE’RE THE MAJORITY AND THE MAJORITY GETS THE VOTE AND THE MINORITIES CAN SCREW IT!” (I’m paraphrasing from memory, but it’s probably that bad.)

    We have had to debunk Rand Paul’s scare stories about the ADA requiring elevators, etc. Our state has stricter regulations than the national standard, since we were an early developer of disabled access standards.

    But it’s not true here either; many of our buildings are grandfathered in. Some are beyond reasonable compliance (some historic buildings) so they are not required to be accessible. (Though also, many historic buildings have been made fully accessible, including our historic City Hall.)

    I’m near tears when I remember that the ADA has been settled law for many years. Now it’s “communistic” and “minority rule.”

    I have disabilities myself–I have “skin in the game”, to quote those monsters in the Village.

  84. 84
    trollhattan says:

    @JoyfulA:
    Jezuz they’re expen$ive. MIL has now lost two, $6k pairs and is angling for pair 3. I tell her she’d have more fun stuffing bills down the garbage disposal.

  85. 85
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @mai naem:

    Pardon me, but Raul Grijalva is a very progressive Dem and I’m grateful to be in his district. And what about Gabby? Or are you just talking about governors? Rose Mofford actually did a pretty good job.

  86. 86
    Unsympathetic says:

    Christ healed the blind.

    The GOP wants to kill them.

    The GOP calls itself the party of Christ.

    QED!

  87. 87
    Bago says:

    @Redshift: I think that anecdote is a superb example of the difference between that hacker/maker ethos and the business/we-get-our-piece ethos. In business, you establish a contract and get reparations for the labor and management involved in the sale of a device, and are reliant on a governing body to adjudicate their compensation. In a prototype model development, the problem being addressed is being looked at from the perspective of “can I” as opposed to the perspective of “do I get paid”. Risks are priced accordingly.

    I think the real drain are min maxers who try to game the regulatory system with prototype logic.

  88. 88
    karen marie says:

    @aimai: None of those disabled children ever become adults.

  89. 89
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Sherlock Hound:

    By our best estimates, 20% of Salemmites have a disability. We are a busy tourist town, as some know, and have a lot of people going through Salem, and stopping at our attractions. We have had a lot of disabled visitors, and many of them have told us how accessible Salem is.

    Let me compliment you & your fellow Salemmites, not just on maximizing access in a town where both topography & antiquity make it difficult, but for being both helpful & patient. I have a dear friend in the Midwest who uses a mobility scooter, and the firest time we were doing the tourist thing — in October, height of the tourist season — her rented scooter broke down in a gift shop. The two cops who showed up in response went out of their way, once it was obvious the conveyance needed more expert attention, to get us reunited with our van & safely on the road home. And everyone working the various tour trolleys, shops & attractions were also cheerful about helping my friend navigate. She told me that she’d always been told New Englanders were “flinty” but she sure didn’t feel that way!

  90. 90
    Calouste says:

    @aimai:

    Burnsie is saying that he has the choice between two lame horses, and he has to pick one of them. Hobson’s choice is that there are two horses, and you have to take the one on the left.

  91. 91
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    I add my congratulations to the Salemites.

    I had polio when I was a kid. It was the mild kind and I wasn’t crippled or in an iron lung. But now that I’m in my 60s, I have back problems, knee problems, ankles, etc., and part of that is post-polio and part is being overweight.
    Anyway, if I have to walk any distance, I use a cane or a walker.

    I’m grateful to say that most people here in Tucson are very helpful. They open doors for me with a smile and I am sure to thank them. I sing in my church choir and in a secular chorale, and people are always fetching things for me, helping me with chairs and doors, etc.

    People do respond to those with a visible handicap.

  92. 92
    Lee Rudolph says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: The ice floe doesn’t pass here any more.

  93. 93
    Lee Rudolph says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    No but, seriously, I don’t get it. This is a symbolic treaty.

    Some people don’t do “symbolic”.

  94. 94
    Matt says:

    The GOP reaction to this treaty is like a dude who gets pulled over for speeding and then loudly announces (without prompting) “NO, OFFICER, THERE’S DEFINITELY NO DRUGS IN THE TRUNK!”. Made me wonder just what the “drugs” in the Talibangelical homeschool trunk were – and then I remembered this:

    http://www.alternet.org/story/.....39;_guides

    TL;DR – there are plenty of RW loons who believe that rubber hoses and Jeebus can cure any child’s behavioral problems, from cranky SEVEN-MONTH OLDS to autistic kids.

    And they’re ADOPTING.

    Some of them will even fess up that a significant motivation for homeschooling is that it avoids teachers seeing the bruises.

  95. 95

    @Wolfdaughter:
    And even those who don’t “look” disabled. I know a veteran of Iraq; he is a dear colleague of mine whose name I can’t mention.

    He has a brain injury.

    He does not look disabled.

    I don’t mention his name because he is very sensitive to this; people with brain injuries–even veterans–are usually called “stupid”.

    My own conditions don’t show either, but when you have a hearing loss and don’t respond to communications, one can be called “stupid” as well.

  96. 96

    @Matt:
    Notice that these people like to use the term “upraising”. As in, “Those kids don’t need special ed, they just need upraising!”

    Upraising, of course, meaning “beating the dead daylights out of your child.”

    I said on Twitter yesterday, these people should welcome the UN coming in to take ADHD kids away to be reeducated. There was a late Irish op-ed writer in the Boston Globe who wrote a column advocating this same thing, some twenty years ago.

  97. 97

    @Anne Laurie:
    I thank you for the kind words!

    We have found that many disabled people, such as your friend, come to town with other abled people.

    If they have a hassle, they don’t come back.

    At all.

    It isn’t like they come back without their disabled friend or relative. They just don’t return. Why spend the money if they aren’t welcome?

    That is what I and we tell people when we hear of “special interests”.

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