Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Talk about throwing people under a bus

Let me rephrase that title: Talk about throwing people under a wheelchair. This comes from an interview with Tea Party favorite Rand Paul in Lexington over the weekend. Paul is running for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky.
Paul was asked whether he supports the Americans with Disabilities Act, the landmark 1990 legislation that established a prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability. Paul said he advocates local governments to decide whether disabled individuals deserve rights. Requiring businesses to provide access to disabled people, Paul argued, isn’t “fair to the business owner.”
Nope, it's not fair. Business owners should spend their money on political candidates like Paul instead of disabled people just trying to make a living.

Even more bizarrely, Paul believes his suggestion is nothing more than common sense:
PAUL: You know a lot of things on employment ought to be done locally. You know, people finding out right or wrong locally. You know, some of the things, for example we can come up with common sense solutions — like for example if you have a three story building and you have someone apply for a job, you get them a job on the first floor if they’re in a wheelchair as supposed to making the person who owns the business put an elevator in, you know what I mean? So things like that aren’t fair to the business owner. [...]
So, in Paul's opinion, it makes more sense to physically isolate someone in a wheelchair from his/her coworkers on the third floor. He should have been honest and said what he really meant - their desks should be placed in the boiler room or a corner of the janitor's closet where they'll be out of sight of "normal" people.

Honestly, this is one of the more despicable things I've heard from conservatives/teabaggers lately, and there's been a lot of terrible stuff said about immigrants, gays, Muslims, blacks, etc. One would almost think they want to achieve some sort of racial purity.

Update: This article from Bloomberg Businessweek highlights why the disabled need the ADA:
A federal report castigated a Texas company for abusing and underpaying several mentally disabled men who were housed in a ramshackle building while working at an Iowa turkey processing plant.

The report from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Henry's Turkey Service underpaid the men at least $1 million over three years, verbally and physically abused them, and committed several major violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, The Des Moines Register reported Friday.
It all boiled down to greed.
The report found that West Liberty Foods paid Henry's Turkey Service as much as $11,000 per week for the disabled men's labor. Henry's Turkey Service then paid the men a combined total of between $340 and $500 per week, or about 41 cents an hour, The Des Moines Register reported.

(Cross-posted at Blogging for MI.)


K. said...

The ADA is a Republican bill, too. (Bob Dole sponsored it). It shows how to the right some of these guys are.

I think the Rand Paul's honestly believe that local governments are better equipped to handle problems. Why you would think that about people whose skills limit them to a city council is beyond me. And just how in the world is Flint going to help anyone? The Harvard Board of Regents could be the city council there and it still wouldn't have any money.

Kevin McKague said...

Kentucky might end up having their first Democratic Senator in about a decade thanks to Rand Paul.

This Tea Party movement is heading exactly where I predicted it would. If they keep pushing the GOP to nominate twits like this guy, any bets that the GOP will re-take either the House or the Senate are off.