The word “lunatic” will be stricken from federal law under legislation that passed the House on Wednesday and is headed to President Obama for his signature. “The term ‘lunatic’ holds a place in antiquity and should no longer have a prominent place in our U.S. code,” said Representative Robert C. Scott, Democrat of Virginia, shortly before the 398-to-1 vote in the House. The word, derived from the Latin word from moon, arises from ancient beliefs that people could become “moonstruck” by lunar movements. But how we will understand Rick Santorum if this word is removed from our lexicon? Who but a lunatic could conceivably think an attempt by the United Nations to help disabled people around the world is a direct assault on “us and our family.” This week, spurred on by Santorum’s ‘lunatic’ thought processes, the Senate refused to ratify a U.N. treaty on the subject. The vote, which fell five short of the necessary two-thirds majority, came right after 89-year-old Bob Dole, the former Republican leader and disabled war veteran, was wheeled into the chamber to urge passage. The rejected treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, was based on the Americans with Disabilities Act, the landmark law Dole co-sponsored. But Santorum was upset about a section on children with disabilities that said: “The best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.” After the vote failed, “We did it,” Santorum tweeted in triumph. I strongly urge President Obama to veto the legislation striking the ‘l’ word, because how else could anyone describe Santorum?
Just saying . . .