West Virginia’s Republican nominee for Senate, John Raese, has a plan. And that plan is to put 1,000 lasers in orbit to save us all.
Not 999. Not 1,001. 1,000 frickin’ lasers.
“If there is a rogue missile aimed at our country, we have 33 minutes to figure out what we’re going to do,” Raese said told the crowd at a recent campaign stop, according to NBC’s Shawna Thomas and Carrie Dann. “We are sitting with the only technology in the world that works and it’s laser technology. We need 1,000 laser systems put in the sky and we need it right now. That is [of] paramount importance.”
The cost of such a program? A cool “$20 billion,” according to Raese.Raese’s not the first to suggest putting lasers in the sky to, well, do whatever one does with 1,000 sky-lasers. The notion of space-born orbiting platforms packed with missile-destroying lasers is not a new one, and Raese’s 1,000 lasers appear to be his (maybe rudimentary) understanding of how the plan for a missile defense shield works. But, as the crack NBC duo reported, putting the idea of a missile defense program into practice has proven rather difficult in reality:
Laser-based technology has been long discussed as a promising method for deterring missiles, but experts say that components of a system like the one Raese described are in the infant stages of research and development and would require the negotiation of staggeringly complex international treaties.
The “1,000 lasers” quote isn’t the only memorable one to come out of Tuesday’s Raese appearance in Inwood, WV. Our personal favorite came when, according to the Martinsburg, WV Journal-News, Raese channeled Larry The Cable Guy while pontificating about a return to American exceptionalism.
“Weak people breed weak nations. If we are going to be weak, we are going to lose it (the nation), aren’t we,” Raese told the crowd. “Are we going to be weak? I don’t think so … We’re not going to be weak and we’re not going to lose our nation. We have two election cycles. We have got to git-r-dun.”
The TPM Poll Average shows Raese leading Democratic nominee Joe Manchin 48.4-45.4.
Late Update: NBC just posted video of the Inwood event featuring Raese talking about his 1,000 space laser plan. An added bonus: the Republican purposely mispronounces Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s name (some might say he mocks it) to show, as Raese says, that he’s “not a career politician.”
Watch (good stuff starts about 30 seconds in):