Steve Kornacki provides us with a tale of two votes, What the Republican Party Has Become. In 1990, the Senate voted to approve the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and yesterday, it voted to approve a nonbinding United Nations treaty to encourage other countries to pass their own version of the ADA. Oh what a difference decade or two makes!
The ADA was a big deal back in 1990. It greatly expanded the rights of the disabled and cost the country a lot of money. Yet Republicans were largely for it. When the final vote was case, 37 Republicans voted for it and only 6 voted against it. Jump ahead 22 years and the numbers are basically reversed: 7 voted for it and 38 voted against it. But that’s not the most telling part of the vote.
Six senators who voted for the ADA 22 years ago voted against the UN treaty yesterday: Dan Coats, Thad Cochran, Charles Grassley, Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell, and Richard Shelby. You read that right: the Senate Majority Leader voted against it.
The no votes are due to right wing paranoid about the United Nations coming to take away disabled home schooled children. I am so not kidding. What is worse is how almost no one in the Republican Party elite will stand up to this demagoguing by the likes of Rick Santorum. But maybe I’m asking too much. This is, after all, a party that depends upon people being distracted by mythical threats so it can implement actual harmful policy. Still, at this point, when the majority of the Republicans in the Senate are to the crazy of John “Benghazigate” McCain, you’re left shaking your head.
For all the “both sides do it” people out there: no! All Senate Democrats voted for both of these bills.