Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Greg Abbott is the attorney general of the state of Texas, and -- alas -- the likely next governor of the state. He's the guy who described his typical workday as follows: "I go into the office, I sue the federal government and I go home."

He's also disabled -- paralyzed since a tree fell on him back in 1984. But as The New York Times reports today, disability-rights advocates aren't all on his side, because, among other things, he thinks the Americans with Disabilities Act -- championed and signed by Texas's own President George H.W. Bush in 1990 -- is unconstitutional.
In 2003, in response to a lawsuit filed against the state over the waiting lists for disabled services, Mr. Abbott and lawyers in the attorney general's office argued that a central provision of the law was unconstitutional. The section of the law that requires state and local governments to make public services and programs accessible to people with disabilities, they argued, was "an impermissible federal mandate," in violation of the 10th Amendment, which limits federal power.

"Our main goal is the integration of people into the community, and the foundation of that is the Americans with Disabilities Act," said Mr. Kafka, an organizer with the Texas chapter of Adapt, a disability rights group. "He continually fights against any kind of federal control."
So, um, does Greg Abbott do anything as a Texas government official to help fellow disabled people?

Oh yes, say his supporters. He makes certain locations in Texas more accessible to the disabled -- by making public appearances at them:
Many [disabled Texans] support [Abbott], describing him as a role model who has helped Texas become more accessible, as the managers and administrators of hotels, restaurants, courthouses and other buildings have installed ramps and made other accommodations to host Mr. Abbott over the years....

Mr. Abbott said he has created more opportunity for the disabled "than anyone in Texas has" -- including those hotels and other facilities where he has appeared that were once inaccessible.

"I've opened doors for the disabled in ways that no lawyer who brings lawsuits ever will be able to," Mr. Abbott said. "By the fact that people see me on a stage, people see me fight and rise to the highest echelons in Texas government. That shows that anyone with a disability doesn't have to hide behind some lawyer who's going to be representing them."
So if you want more wheelchair access in Texas, just limit yourself to destinations where Greg Abbott has made a personal appearance! Simply avoid destinations where he hasn't delivered a speech! Or become attorney general yourself! Then you'll get accessibility improvements wherever you go!

That's the conservative solution to the problems of the disabled!


Buford said...

but does he use a teleprompter when speechifyin'?

skaterina said...

local color / i lived in a small NE village when the disability act was passed / immediately plans were put in place for a ramp to the little post office / we had two (2) wheelchair bound people in town / someone's beloved daughter and someone else's beloved son / of course everyone was okay with the ramp / you betcha

Victor said...

So, the solution is, if you're handicapped, to invite this jackass to a place that needs access to people with disabilities, and hope he shows up.

I guess the closest position that an American sociopath can get that approaches the old Grand Inquisitor, is either as the executioner in states who do executions, and Attorney General.

Glennis said...

What is it about the current crop of Republicans that cultivates such high levels of narcissim?

LanceThruster said...

I had a right-wing friend who owned a small business (lots of DoD work) who would rail against Americans with Disabilities mandates because he said no one with disabilities came to his place of business. I said that with all the military intervention he regularly supported, it was possible that might change in the future.

Joey_Blau said...

"immediately plans were put in place for a ramp to the little post office "

was it a large concrete ramp with a fence made of galvanized pipes? That spread across the front of the building where the azaleas used to be? and which also required a 40' concrete sidewalk to be poured.?? that ramp?