This past Tuesday, in an attempt to get Sen. John McCain to join Sens. Clinton and Obama in supporting the bi-partisan Community Choice Act, 250 ADAPT activists took over the offices of Sen. John McCain and another 250 swarmed the Republican National Committee. McCain responded by having over 40 of the activists arrested.
Clinton was the first of the three presidential candidates to sign on to the Community Choice Act and eventually Obama, too, came on board. McCain’s now the sole hold-out, and the only one who — based on his actions this week — seems to be against the legislation.
“I don’t get it,” said Philadelphia ADAPT organizer Cassie James. “Sen. McCain’s website says, ‘There is no cause greater than protection of human dignity.’ We were at his office asking him to partner with us to protect OUR human dignity … This is not rocket science — it’s basic human and civil rights!” According to his website, McCain’s idea of protecting human dignity is lifted out of the rightwing pro-life play-book. Those who still think McCain’s a moderate ought to check it out.
Meanwhile, finally, a key disability concern has drawn attention as a campaign issue: “At a time when John McCain is on the campaign trail talking about health care choices, he refuses to explain why he opposes a bill that would let Americans with disabilities choose how and where to live, work and receive care,” said top Dem Howard Dean in an unsolicited press release. “Apparently John McCain and his staff would rather let activists get arrested outside his office than explain his position on this critical issue.”
You’d think a guy who collects a tax-free disability pension would be a bit more receptive to at least considering our most important piece of pending legislation. Is McCain’s stand on this bill a good indicator of how he’ll act – or refuse to act – on other key disability policy issues? ADAPT is good at forcing confrontation, and at orchestrating arrests. But it’s easy for policymakers to avoid that – all they have to do is agree to meet with the group.
ADAPT has provided an excellent opportunity for Senator McCain to appeal to the disability community and he blew it! Contact Senator McCain's campaign - if you value healthcare reform and ensuring that people with disabilities have choice in how they live their lives insist that the Senator explain his views on these issues and the direct relationship to people with disabilities.