Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah.) delivered a speech replete with Star Wars references, Aquaman cartoons, and Ronald Reagan on a velociraptor to colleagues Tuesday that he said addressed the Green New Deal "with the level of seriousness it deserves."
"This is a picture of former President Ronald Reagan firing a machine gun while riding on the back of a dinosaur," Lee said, introducing a drawing by artist Jason Heuser. "You will note both the rocket launcher strapped to his back, and the stirring patriotism of the velociraptor holding up the tattered American flag."
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"This image has as much to do with overcoming Soviet communism in the 20th century as the Green New Deal has to do with overcoming climate change in the 21st," he added. "The aspirations of the proposal have been called radical and extreme. But mostly they are ridiculous."
Lee's address came as part of the Senate's floor debate on a resolution calling for a Green New Deal. Originally introduced by Sen. Ed Markey (D., Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), the 14-page bill was co-opted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who organized a vote on it Tuesday to make Democrats take a stand on a proposal expected to cost $94 trillion if implemented.
In his speech, Lee sought to highlight some of the ridiculous policy ideas associated with the Green New Deal, including banning airplanes—after which, he said, Alaskans could navigate their state on tauntauns while Hawaii would be reached by giant sea horses, a la Aquaman's trusty steed Storm.
"Now, I'm the first to admit that a massive fleet of giant, trained seahorses would be very cool. But we have no idea about scalability or domestic capacity in this sector," Lee added. "The last thing we want is to ban all airplanes, and only then find out that China or Russia have already established strategic hippocampus programs designed to cut the United States out of the global market. Mr. President, we must not allow a giant seahorse gap!"
Lee also discussed plans to eliminate all cows in the United States, to cut down on methane production.
"We would go from about 94 million cows to, well, zero cows," he explained. "You may think I'm exaggerating, Mr. President, but this is no bull."
Joking aside, Lee emphasized that in his view, all of these cracks were possible because the GND was not a policy document, but an "aesthetic" one.
"This resolution is not an agenda of solutions. It's a token of elite tribal identity—and endorsing it, a public act of piety for the chic and woke. And on those embarrassing terms, it is already a resounding success. As Speaker Pelosi herself put it: ‘The green dream, or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they're for it right?'"
Tackling climate change is a project not for overbearing government, but for the next generation of engineers and innovators, Lee said.
"The courage to solve climate change is nothing compared with the courage to start a family. The true heroes of this story aren't politicians or social media activists. They are moms and dads, and the little boys and girls they are putting down for naps, helping with their homework, building tree houses, and teaching how to tie their shoes," Lee concluded. "The solution to climate change is not this unserious resolution, but the serious business of human flourishing—the solution to so many of our problems, at all times and in all places: fall in love, get married, and have kids."