ONLY 17 EXTREMISTS VOTE AGAINST AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT. CAN YOU GUESS THEIR NAMES?
Bush I signing the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990
Did you ever want to walk up to a blind man and punch him in the face when no one else was around? You didn't? Neither did I. I'm less certain about 17 members of Congress-- and especially one from New Jersey. Now, nothing against New Jersey-- except for this one maniac, every single New Jersey Democrat and every single New Jersey Republican voted for H R 3195, the Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments, late yesterday. Actually it wasn't only the whole New Jersey delegation (minus one) that voted for this. Every single Democrat in the nation and all but these 17 far right extremist Republicans supported it too. It's beyond veto-proof. It passed 4102-17. The bill slaps down Bush's corporate Supreme Court by making Congress' intention so clear than not even Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas could misunderstand and misinterpret. Here's what it does:
· Specifically rejects the erroneous Supreme Court decisions that have reduced the protections for people with disabilities under the ADA, restoring original Congressional intent.
· Makes it absolutely clear that the ADA is intended to provide broad coverage to protect anyone who faces discrimination on the basis of disability.
· Clarifies the definition of disability, including what it means to be “substantially limited in a major life activity.”
· Prohibits the consideration of mitigating measures such as medication, prosthetics, and assistive technology, in determining whether an individual has a disability.
· Provides coverage to people who experience discrimination based on a perception of impairment regardless of whether the individual experiences disability.
· Is supported by a broad coalition of civil rights groups, disability advocates, and employer trade organizations.
So, who were the skunks at the picnic? Some of the worst of the rubber stamp extremists who love to oppose this kind of positive legislation-- people like Mean Jean Schmidt, Patrick McHenry, Michelle Bachmann, Tim Walberg and David Dreier-- are too scared of facing their constituents in November to pull their regular hate-filled routines. But that doesn't account for this handful of lunatic fringe Republican hate-mongers:
Paul Broun (GA)
John Capmbell (CA)
John Doolittle (CA)
John Duncan (TN)
Jeff Flake (AZ)
Scott Garrett (NJ)
Louie Gohmert (TX)
Jeb Hensarling (TX)
Jack Kingston (GA)
John Linder (GA)
Kenny Marchant (TX)
Ron Paul (TX)
Ted Poe (TX)
Tom Price (GA)
Tom Tancredo (CO)
Dave Weldon (FL)
Lynn Westmoreland (GA)
The Texas and Georgia Republican parties look like more than half the problem. But how do you account for a congressman supposedly representing a moderate district in northern New Jersey, much of it in thoroughly mainstream Bergen County? That would be GOP wildman Scott Garrett. I don't know if he hates all disabled people but I know he's unhappy with one. His opponent for the congressional seat he will likely lose in November is himself a blind man, Dennis Shulman. We asked Dennis for his reaction to Garrett's bizarre vote yesterday.
"I'm not outraged as someone with a disability, I am outraged as someone who fights for the fundamental American value of equal opportunity."
"The Americans with Disabilities Act is a landmark piece of legislation that has provided millions of Americans with equal access in virtually all areas of life, including education, the workforce, and technology. Perhaps without it, I wouldn't be here to offer a sensible alternative to an out of touch career politician like Scott Garrett."
Anyone who donates at least $25 to Dennis Shulman's campaign today via the Blue America ActBlue page will get a great new double CD-- Quixotic by Matt Keating-- sent to them as a Blue America thank you.
Where were you in 1982?