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PERSONAL ATTACKS substitute for DEBATE and DIALOGUE at the SENATE CRPD HEARING!

I was appalled to read this in my daily email that I and billions of others get from Michael Farris and parentalrights.org.  (Thanks to them for this info!)

It was obvious from the earliest moments of the hearing that I was going to be the brunt of a lot of abuse. During the course of the hearing I was personally attacked by Senator Menendez, Senator Boxer, and Senator Durbin. I don’t mean they disagreed with me on the merits of the issue. I mean they attacked me personally for “fear-mongering”, misrepresentation, fund-raising, political motives, and having earned an LLM through distance learning. The shots were cheap and it wasn’t really any fun.

Here is more detail from a pro-HSLDA source:

After we gave our introductory remarks, the personal attacks began. Senator Barbara Boxer (CA), the second most senior Democrat senator on the committee, asked me if HSLDA or ParentalRights.org has ever raised money during our battle against UN control over children and families with disabilities. Instead of asking her if she had ever raised money during her campaigns for U.S. Senate, or whether any of the pro-UNCRPD organizations raise money for their fight, I explained that HSLDA is funded by you, our members. ParentalRights.org is funded solely by donations.
Senator Boxer’s attack, however, was not really against me or HSLDA. It was against you, and every other homeschool family who has ever supported HSLDA because you believe in our mission to defend the God-given right of parents, not faceless bureaucrats, to care for and educate our children. Senator Boxer thinks that your membership in HSLDA and your support of our critical work to defend homeschooling, support widows and single parents through the Home School Foundation, and the work of ParentalRights.org to pass a constitutional amendment makes you an evil special interest that must be vilified and defeated.
Next, Senator Dick Durbin (IL), another senior Democrat on the committee, falsely argued that HSLDA’s position is that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the threat to homeschool freedom. The fact is that HSLDA strongly supports the ADA and other laws advancing the freedom and dignity of persons with disabilities which our democratically elected representatives have passed. What’s more, the UNCRPD would actually threaten parental rights which are enshrined in the IDEA. I explained to him that it was the UNCRPD, not the ADA, which was the threat. He ignored me and persisted in stating that HSLDA believes the ADA was the threat. Logic teachers call this a straw man argument, which is used by people who do not wish to debate the merits of an issue.
And finally, near the end of the hearing, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (NJ) said, by way of dismissing HSLDA’s legal arguments about how the UNCRPD is binding under international law, “I appreciate that you have an LLM from London which is as I understand from a distance learning course….” The room packed with supporters of the treaty burst out in rude and loud laughter, forcing Chairman Menendez to gavel the room to order.
I wonder how some people get elected again and again.  It becomes a reflection on the voters of their state after awhile.  Chairman Menendez, I teach at Nazarene Bible College in their onlien program and I’ll put its academic rigor up against any program any day.  Here’s another place about the hearing:
Senator Orrin Hatch went so far as to warn on the Senate floor in July that ratifying CRPD “would endorse an official ongoing role for the United Nations in evaluating virtually every aspect of American life.”
I have worried a bit about Senator Hatch but he’s spot on here!  But we have naive voices, too:

Richard Thornburgh, a Republican former attorney general, dismissed as “alarmist” the claims that the convention could trump US law on American soil.

“This is not a country that’s going to submit to any worldwide body,” he said.

But this treaty forces us to answer to a foreign body.  But imperialistic/ignorant voices, too:

Elizabeth MacNairn, executive director of Handicap International USA, said ratification would give Washington a crucial “place at the table” for establishing rights worldwide.

“It adds heft to the kind of work we’re doing with our partners in Nepal, to say that we too have ratified this instrument, we too work on making services accessible, we too are part of this international dialogue,” MacNairn said.

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, a military veteran who lost both legs in Iraq, said she had “egg on my face” because she could not tell disability-rights advocates in Asia that the United States is leading on the issue.

My hint to both Ms. MacNairn and Congresswoman Duckworth:  We do lead on rights for the disabled – it’s called the Americans with Disabilities Act.  It was recently amended to strengthen its protections.  I am not interested in mugging Nepal about their internal policies.  Let’s set an example instead.

Keep our senators informed of how you feel.  This post has Warner/Kaine’s information.  And Senator Warner is up for reelection in 2014!

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood “Sandy” Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia’s first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

One Response to “PERSONAL ATTACKS substitute for DEBATE and DIALOGUE at the SENATE CRPD HEARING!”

  1. Gene Lefty says:

    Veterans Day

    As today is Veterans Day I think we should all take a moment to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice while defending America.

    I would also like to point out something else, as today is the time that we usually receive updates from our Congressmen and Senators about taking care of, and hiring Veterans.

    How many veterans and disabled veterans are on the staff of our 435 U.S. Senators and Congressmen? Why will they not answer, or publish this information. What are they hiding? What are they afraid of?

    I have tried and tried to get the answer from U.S. Sen. Warner and Kaine, U.S. Congressmen Wittman and Cantor. Although one assistant did give a look around answer that I believe to be untrue.

    So, do you believe that members of Congress should lead by example, and proudly hire our Veterans? Or, do you believe that they should just pass the buck and expect, and $egislate, someone else to hire our brave warriors?

    Also, out of Virginia’s 140 $awmakers, how many of their staff are Veterans or Disabled Veterans. Any at all?

    So to all those who serve, and those who have sacrificed in the defense of this country, Thanks!

    Sent from my iPhone

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    Tom White Says:

    Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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