Michael Kranish’s story of how part of the home school lobby brought down the UN Disability Treaty is just fantastic:
Then a witness named Michael Farris stunned many in the hearing room as he sought to demolish the arguments for the treaty.
Farris was speaking in his role as the president of the Home School Legal Defense Fund, a group with 83,000 dues-paying families that he founded in 1983. The group monitors government actions that potentially impact home schooling and says its mission is “to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms.”
Farris, added to the witness list after Republicans on the committee learned of his objections to the treaty, testified that the treaty was “dangerous” to parents who teach disabled children at home. In a later radio interview, Farris would put his argument in the starkest terms: “The definition of disability is not defined in the treaty and so, my kid wears glasses, now they’re disabled; now the UN gets control over them.”
Kerry sounded sarcastic as he belittled Farris’s claims.
“So you believe that President George Herbert Walker Bush and Attorney General Thornburgh and majority leader Robert Dole, and a bunch of other people, just don’t understand the Constitution or can’t read the law?” Kerry asked Farris.
Santorum soon took up the cause from the outside, followed by Inhofe and Demint on the inside. Most of the rest, terrified of Tea Party challenges, soon fell into line. I do wish Kranish had spent a bit more time on the Beltway-Neocon think tank crowd, which also by and large opposed the treaty and which appreciated the opportunity that the home schoolers offered. Recognizing the “morons and people frightened of morons” part of the story shouldn’t cause us to miss the genuinely repellent elements that continue to hold the cards in the GOP foreign policy establishment.