If ever there was a portrait of what is wrong with the Republican Party in its embrace of extremism, the Senate floor provided the dismal picture on Tuesday. There was former Sen. Bob Dole, once the Republican Party's nominee for president, seated in a wheelchair in support of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
While he was greeted respectfully, once wheeled away all the deference dissipated like a mist. Because of Republican opposition, the treaty failed to get the two-thirds support necessary for approval. Mr. Dole might as well have stayed home with his principles and good sense.
It has come to this. With a few honorable exceptions, Republicans can't even support a U,N. treaty that exports America's best values overseas -- and all because of paranoid critics who see the U.N. symbol as the mark of the beast. Last week ex-Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, once more using a child of his as a political prop, this time a daughter with a birth defect, set the stage to reject a treaty that arguably would help anyone with disabilities traveling overseas.
How outrageous. The idea that this treaty, negotiated during the last Bush administration, would compromise American sovereignty -- and threaten activities such as home schooling -- would be laughable if it were not so pathetic. For shame!