Bob Dole CountryThat used to be on a billboard along I-70 near Russell, Kansas, Bob Dole's hometown. My father knew Bob Dole's mother there in Russell and I shook Bob Dole's left hand many times as a teen and young man.
Bob Dole's right arm, you see, had been shot up as he attacked a German machinegun nest in Italy during World War II. He was greviously injured. Almost died. The VA basically told him, "Well, that's it. There's nothing to be done for you." And sent him home to Russell to live severely disabled, likely bed-ridden for life.
The hometown - a small prairie town mind you of under 2000 people - got together and raised money for Bob to get to some specialists for surgeries to fix him up better.
And so Bob Dole recovered much better than anyone at the VA had expected solely due to the kindness and love of his hometown.
Throughout his career in the US House of Representatives and Senate, Bob Dole was a tireless advocate for disabled veterans and disabled people of all types. He'd had some very personal, painful, long experience with disability himself.
As best as they tried, his right arm wouldn't move much at all on it's own. So, when you shook Bob Dole's hand, you put out your right hand, he swiveled his left hand around upside down and shook your right hand with his left.
"Bob Dole handshake," we used to say in college and do it left-handed.
In 1990, in one of Bob Dole's proudest moments, and he had many in his storied career (and some objectionable ones too, we all agree), the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed by the US Congress and signed into law, July 26 by President George H.W. Bush.
Please read that link to see how sweeping this law was. Dole had personally shepherded the Act through Congress. It was something he felt heart and soul about and dearly wanted to see become law. The act, today, would be considered Flaming Commie Socialist Fascist Liberal by Fake News. In fact, it is a progressive law that most all liberals were happy to support.
Which brings us to Wednesday, December 5, 2012 and the most shameful thing I think the US Senate -- specifically US Republican Senators -- have done for a long time.
Bob Dole appeared in the US Senate chamber where he had once been a major party leader, master negotiator, deal maker, a force to be reckoned with. Vice-Presidential and then Presidential candidate of the Republican Party, Bob Dole is somebody. Or was.
The occasion of his appearance was to see the passage of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, which had been closely modeled after his own beloved Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Let's all remember one thing: George W. Bush's wars have been turning regular folks into disabled war veterans for over 10 years. Supporting the disabled includes war veterans. The gallery was filled with disabled war veterans and disabled people from around American and other nations.
...his group and many others had been assured by numerous GOP senators that they would vote in favor of ratification, but then disabilities groups were given no warning when those senators reversed themselves and voted "no."The junior Senator from Kansas, Gerald (Jerry) W. Moran, last May 2012, had issued a joint news release with John McCain, praising the treaty. McCain kept his word. Moran broke his.
Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts were the most shocking "no" votes because both had personally committed to support the treaty to former Sen. Bob Dole, who hails from their home state of Kansas and who appeared in the Senate chamber Tuesday in his wheelchair.
"Moran was the biggest disappointment to us in this campaign, both because of his commitment and his own relationship with Senator Dole," Morrissey said. "The no vote of both Kansas senators, considering how strong the Kansas disability community is, to make that choice, is very disappointing."I want to tell you folks, I was in college with Jerry Moran. We drank beer together. Went golfing (haha, mostly drinking beer) together. Had him over to dinners many evenings. Laughed, joked, discussed making our way in life. Went to his childhood home in Plainville, KS once. His bedroom, since junior high I thnk I recall, was set up like a politician's office. Roladex, desk made of a wooden door laid on two filing cabinets, but the whole room styled like a powerful politician's office. So, yeah, he was always ambitious.
But I once thought he had a soul. Not anymore. His politics have been odious to me for a long time. He became involved with that nasty Christian group with the flophouse for Congressmen. I forget what it is called. He's become more and more pathetic, afraid to truly discuss issues, literally running away, saying, "You're trying to change my position! You're trying to change my position!"
As if he couldn't support his own positions?
But today, even as odious as he has been for a long time, today was the epitome of ingratitude, two-faced lies, and moral failure.
After promising his support for the treaty in writing, with Bob Dole, six days out of the hospital, frail in a wheelchair, with the galleries full of wounded WAR VETERANS and the disabled of all walks of life from the US and elsewhere,
Jerry Moran voted "No."
He rubbed Bob Dole's face in the mud. Moran scoffed at Bob Dole's legacy in what may well be his very last appearance in an arena where he once was The Man.
Thirty-eight Senators, all Republicans, voted AGAINST disabled military veterans and the disabled across the world. They voted "No." But Jerry Moran went back on his word. He went against his fellow Kansan, former party leader, the very image of taking care of the Disabled in America.
If Republican tea-headed scum will do that to Bob Dole, once an icon of their party, nothing -- nothing at all -- they do against Democrats should be a surprise.
Read the full accounting of the various ways these Republicans turned their backs on Bob Dole via Foreign Policy. There are many ugly stories there, but none as ugly as Jerry Moran's.
Several GOP senators actually RSVPd for a reception held at the Capitol Tuesday morning to honor Dole, a disabled veteran himself, for his decades of work on behalf of the disabled community. Roberts, along with Sens. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Richard Shelby (R-AL), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) all planned to attend the ceremony honoring Dole, but didn't show up and then voted "no" on the treaty.Cowards and ingrates, the lot of them.
Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) actually did show up to the Dole event, but then voted against the treaty anyway.
Obama is on the right path now. Don't give in. Don't give an inch. These craven beasts lust only for power and will be as cruel, heartless and wretched as they have to be to grasp it.
Gollum has nothing on Jerry Moran and his ilk. Evil incarnate.
The scene both inside and just outside the Senate chamber Tuesday before and during the vote was heart-wrenching, several observers said. Wounded war veterans and other disabled people filled the gallery above the floor and the hallways outside the chamber, expecting to celebrate months of effort, only to have those hopes shattered as the roll call vote was read aloud.Can you say anything else, after today's vote?
"That was one of most shameful moments I've witnessed during my time in Washington," one longtime senior Senate aide said. "I thought it was utterly appalling."
"The reaction was one of emotional hurt. There was weeping in the gallery," said Morrissey, who added that disability groups will remember the GOP senators who torpedoed the treaty ratification effort and groups have labeled the 38 the "wall of shame."
and in the Guardian (UK): http://www.guardian.co.uk/...
Wichita Eagle: http://www.kansas.com/...
Topeka Capital Journal: (doesn't have an opinion, apparently, or much coverage at all): http://cjonline.com/...
Hays Daily News, Lawrence Journal World: couldn't find any coverage of the vote online.
Anyone with more Kansas coverage, please let me know. I'm curious how this is playing in the traditional media. Thank you.
Full Text of the Treaty: http://www.un.org/...
6:23 PM PT: UPDATE: I've checked Moran's facebook pages and it seems some people are commenting there although comments are also being removed without a response. However, it appears that Posts do appear on subscribers' News Feeds, so they do see the criticism.
If you feel like it, let the new chair of the NRSC know what you think of his vote.