John Raese’s frickin’ lasers

JOHN RAESE’S FRICKIN’ LASERS…. Most of what we know about right-wing Senate candidate John Raese (R) in West Virginia has to do with his bizarre ideology (he’s a staunch opponent of the minimum wage and Social Security) and his personal finances (he’s filthy rich without actually working and moved his family to their home in Florida).

But it’s important to note that Raese isn’t just a clownish extremist; he also has a policy agenda he’d work on in the Senate if elected. For example, Raese has a national defense vision involving a whole bunch of 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 at an event sponsored by the League of American Voters. “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.”

Raese said the system would cost $20 billion.

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.

I have a very strong hunch Raese isn’t quite sharp enough to understand this, but what he’s describing is technology that (a) is decades away from being implemented; (b) would probably cost a lot more than $20 billion; (c) would require extensive international negotiations that may not go especially well; and (d) wouldn’t necessarily deal with the more immediate national security threats that have nothing to do with missiles.

Oh, and when Raese says we have “laser technology … that works,” that’s clearly wrong if he believes we can just push a button and zap missiles from the sky.

Of course, if recent history is any guide, Senate Republicans will quickly want to make this guy chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security.