Tuesday, July 22, 2014

CRPD RATIFICATION: Honesty Is the Best Policy

When 38 Senators voted against ratification of the Convention on Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in December 2012, they suffered no adverse consequences attributable to that vote. So, I think that Senators leaning in that direction now feel safe.

Historically, when a treaty fails to be ratified the first time out, it seldom is dusted off and brought up again. So, unless Majority Leader Reid knows he has the votes for passage, he is not going to bring the CRPD to the Senate floor this month or any other time this year.

Given these stark facts, painfully honest facts, I have three suggestions.

First, the Noah's Ark strategy. Two-by-two go have a quiet conversation with a real live Senator away from his/her office. One of the pair should be an advocate for the CRPD and the other should be a homeschooler or a priest. Make your points and hash things out. If no common ground emerges at least you tried.

Second, some of us have more clout than others strategy. Many Senators who have concerns about the CRPD may feel more comfortable talking to veterans, because they are more likely to support the Senator in the next election, in large numbers. Or, these Senators may feel more receptive to business leaders because these leaders will help in future fund raising campaigns. If you are a veteran or a business leader go talk to your Senator and ask him/her to support ratification. At the very least the Senator will make a mental calculation about votes and/or money during the course of your conversation.

Third, tweet the mainstream media strategy. Ask the people you spend time with -- such as Wolf Blitzer, Jon Stewart, Fareed Zakaria, Candy Crowley, Margaret Warner, Judy Woodruff, Gwen Ifill, Brian Williams, and the folks at Politico, the Huff Post, the Daily Beast, Roll Call, the Hill, and others to cover the ratification of the CRPD.

Time is short. Our options are limited.

Thank you.
Common Grounder
New book: A Moral Imperative:  U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, http://t.co/Vigyant7aM

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