House Republicans want to protect America in the event Iran suddenly decides to start raining down rockets on Manhattan's Theatre District. Their ambitious solution? A missile shield for the East Coast—think of it as yet another big-budget sequel to "Star Wars."
Predictably, Democrats are eager to spoil their fun:
A new Republican plan to set up a missile defense site on the East Coast has attracted election-year fireworks, with Democrats accusing the GOP of pushing the idea to undercut President Obama's national-security credentials.
Democrats say Republicans are playing politics, but GOP members hit back saying the site is necessary to get ahead of the rising threat of Iran's missile development and to plug a gap in U.S. missile defenses..."This is a political move," said Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.), who intends to introduce an amendment Wednesday to strip the provision from the defense authorization bill. "Every time the election comes around, the Republicans run out a national security agenda."
Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio), the chairman of the House strategic forces subcommittee, counters thusly:
You cannot open a newspaper or turn on a TV…without seeing a story of the rising threat from Iran and North Korea to mainland United States. With these emerging threats it is inevitable that an East Coast site will be necessary in order to ensure we have the ability to lessen the threats from both Iran and North Korea.
House Republicans have been kicking around this idea for a few weeks now. It would require $100 million upfront to get the project off the ground, and would take about four years to build.
There are lots of reasons why this plan is punishingly ill-advised.
Yes, Iranian military and government officials have indeed said things about attacking the East Coast of the United States with their missiles and naval fleets. They've also said things about launching simultaneous Red Dawn-like ground offensives on American, European, Israeli, and Palestinian soil, and that George W. Bush brought down the World Trade Center. Basically, Iran says a lot of things, often with the same attachment to reality you'd get from a Kardashian wedding.