Foreign Policy's Daniel Drezner remarks that "not ratifying this [U.N. disabilities] treaty doesn't appreciably harm U.S. interests. It does, however, make the United States look pretty dysfunctional."
The distinction escapes me.
The Senate just (once again) demonstrated to the world that its lone superpower has the governing IQ of a mothball. And whenever the Senate minority isn't bollixing some rudimentary matter of sanity, its counterpart, the Republican House, is either extorting the president or abusing its own citizens through an infantile intransigence. One senses, for instance, that the only reason things are as peaceful as they are regarding the "cliff" talks is that House GOPers are awaiting that delicious moment next year--the reaching of the debt ceiling--when they can further decimate the nation's credit rating and nihilistically bring American civilization to its knees.
There is in all this a definite, malodorous strain of European fascism. I appreciate that such a statement is almost universally considered extremist itself, but searing reality is whatever searing reality is. Momentous chaos and chronic disorder are of course staples of fanatical authoritarian opportunism, and where they don't exist they must be created. And by now it is, I'd argue, vastly undeniable that national mayhem is an insidiously inner-Republican Republican objective. It sure as hell isn't John Boehner's party, or Olympia Snowe's, but it's Republican in name--and it is openly treacherous and "appreciably harm[ful]" to U.S. interests.
And until Americans suspect the worst, things won't get better.