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Opinion

Opinion

Editorial: Disappointed Dole

Even though former Sen. Bob Dole is no stranger to tough politics, a recent vote against the U.N. treaty on rights of the disabled surely was a disappointment.

December 10, 2012

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Former Kansas U.S. Sen. Bob Dole certainly needs no introduction to the vagaries of politics or the whims of today’s elected officials. And presumably he wouldn’t want anyone feeling sorry for him in the aftermath of what no doubt was a personally disappointing vote in which the Senate rejected a United Nations treaty on the rights of the disabled.

Dole, himself a disabled World War II Army veteran, was on the Senate floor, in a wheelchair, to support adoption of the treaty, which is modeled on the Americans with Disabilities Act. Thirty-eight members of Dole’s Republican Party, including both Kansas senators, Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, were among those who defeated adoption of the treaty. Only eight Republicans voted for it, although it was supported by veterans organizations and the disabilities community.

A number of reasons were given for not favoring the treaty. “I do not support the cumbersome regulations and potentially overzealous international organizations with anti-American biases that infringe upon American society,” offered up Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe. Others cited conceding America’s sovereignty to international control, or possibly overriding state laws dealing with the disabled children, and even a fear the treaty would interfere with home-schooling children.

Much of the emotional reaction to the vote, however, has been focused on the perceived slap at Bob Dole. Dole, once referred to as “the abominable no-man” by a Kansas editor upset with his voting record when Dole was in the House of Representatives, knows the rough-and-tumble of politics. The quick-witted, genuinely humorous Russell native who was his party’s presidential nominee in 1996 also has demonstrated he knows how to work for what’s best for the American people, and how to get along with leaders in both parties. In Lawrence, we take particular pride in having the Dole Institute of Politics at Kansas University. The former senator is regarded fondly and favorably by most Americans, and especially, it’s fair to say, fellow Kansans. They admire his service to our country and his growth as a statesman.

Let’s hope others now in the Senate but not yet capable of filling his shoes experience that growth as well.

Comments

msezdsit 1 year, 11 months ago

Bob Dole has always championed actions to help the disabled. Its my understanding as a young man he was very healthy and quite athletic. That all changed while serving his country. He nearly lost his life while serving his country. He was bed ridden for a long long time as a result of serving his country. Oh, and he was disabled for serving his country. But now the party of me me me and me only apparently doesn't respect nor do they consider Bob Dole a part to their me me me and only me fraternity.

Bob Dole was a very tough politician and when it was time to do something for his country, he stood up and served his country. I guess maybe thats what the me me me party is referring to when they say we need to bring back the American values that made this country a great country. Only they are pretending that they aren't the problem.

Joe Blackford II 1 year, 11 months ago

NOT always:

1986 -> I received an appt. ltr. for a US Govt. job as a Park Ranger @ Marion Reservoir. The Friday before the Monday I was to report for duty, I got a call that my appointment was in limbo with OPM.

No contact for several months, & no response to phone calls & msgs. Finally wrote to Sen. Dole.

He soon fowarded the CoE's response: seems OPM has a reg. that no employee can drive a motor vehicle with vision in only ONE eye.

That was an acceptable response. However, the OPM ltr went on to suggest the amount of insulin I was taking should also make me a questionable employee. They had no idea the amount. I knew of a current CoE diabetic taking 3-4X as much insulin on a daily basis. I had worked for the CoE for 2 summers with vision in only one eye.

I filed a EEO complaint. I drove from McPherson to Marion in a heavy fog. The EEO Officer from Tulsa was late to the appt. Upon his arrival, he quipped "Where's the blind guy?" I wan't the only one not laughing.

This occurred during the timeframe of Dole's ADA crusade, which he had not evidently gotten across to his office staff, nor the OPM.

Liberty275 1 year, 11 months ago

If we have an Americans with Disabilities Act why do we need to adopt a UN treaty that is modeled after the law we are already following?

WilburM 1 year, 11 months ago

A disabled person might just want to travel abroad and have similar opportunities as he or she does here. And if we are talking about some kind rights, doesn't that imply that all people should have them? Moreover, symbols are important, even if there is little policy impact. Roberts and Moran failed. Truly pathetic.

Alyosha 1 year, 11 months ago

Well, for starters, treaties, as I'm sure you must know, codify how nation states will behave amongst and in relationship to each other.

So we had here an opportunity to craft international law to follow U.S. law, as any patriot would desire — one would think.

But if one does not understand what treaties are and how they work, or believe that U.S. law can be a force for, and model of, the Good in international relations, I can see how a question such as the one Liberty275 poses would arise.

oldexbeat 1 year, 11 months ago

the Roberts File Drawer and the Moran file folder will be their rewards !

Centerville 1 year, 11 months ago

The UN Treaty does not, I repeat, does not even allude to the US or the ADA. The purpose wasn't to make international travel more convenient, the purpose was to shake down the only country that has made any system-wide accomodations. Please read the thing. It was just an excuse for a huge committee to spend a lot of time at nice resorts.

jayhawklawrence 1 year, 11 months ago

Facing the Germans in Italy was easy compared to what Dole faced in the US Congress.

He was basically abandoned by Nixon who thought a Senator from Kansas was a joke.

Bob Dole is beloved because he is real. He is a real man. That is something that Nixon never could achieve although he had great ability and did some good things.

He was out classed by the man, Bob Dole.

We understand, or should, that we have been represented by a great man, Bob Dole.

These punks we have in Congress today demonstrated why they will fail. They think we are stupid.

They think they can ignore Bob Dole as a joke. His greatest sin was loyalty.

I will never forgive them for voting against Bob Dole.

Bob Dole, abandoned by Nixon and again, by the US Congress, who failed every American because they are cowards who work for money instead of doing what is right.

msezdsit 1 year, 11 months ago

I first met Bob Dole when I was probably around 5 or 6 years old and for all the years since he has served his country with dignity and always served his country above himself. I remember a few years ago when he spoke with Bill Clinton at Allen Fieldhouse and I saw exactly the same man I met as a child. Even when he ran for president he didn't flop all over the place like McCain and Romney. You never had to ask, just what does this man stand for.

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