I am a lifelong, proud Democrat. But, even though I have a lot of friends who are Republicans, I’m glad I’m not a member of today’s Republican Party. Because today’s Republican Party is just too damned mean. Just look what they did to Bob Dole yesterday. Over the years, Dole’s one of the Republicans I’ve admired the most and grown close to. He’s an American war hero. He’s a true patriot. He was an outstanding senator from Kansas. He was a very fair and effective majority leader of the Senate. He’s a wonderful, warm, funny human being. But what his fellow Republicans did to him yesterday is shameful. As one who triumphed over his own war injuries, Bob Dole has long championed the rights of the disabled. Yesterday, fresh out of Walter Reed Hospital, he came to the Senate in his wheelchair to seek the support of his fellow Republicans for the United Nations Disabilities Treaty — which would not make any changes to American law, but merely encourage other nations to grant disabled persons the same opportunities they enjoy here in the United States. One by one, his Republican colleagues walked up to shake his hand — and then stabbed him in the back. Only eight Republicans joined all Senate Democrats in voting for the treaty, even though it’s already been endorsed by 155 other nations. Opponents argued that endorsing the treaty would undermine national security, thereby branding Sen. Dole as some kind of traitor or terrorist. In the fiscal cliff negotiations, by refusing to raise tax rates on the top 2 percent, Republicans already proved they don’t care about the middle class. Yesterday, by embarrassing and repudiating Bob Dole, today’s Republicans proved they don’t care about the disabled, either.
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