The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

The Insiders: Don’t install iron spikes on the White House fence

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As if the images of the Obama era are not bleak enough – from bloody handprints on the wall of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, to Baltimore burning – the White House is now installing sharp iron spikes on top of the building’s fence to enhance security. Really?

Are iron spikes really the best way to protect the White House in this day and age? It conjures up an image worthy of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” The Night’s Watch would think it’s a great idea. With all the American resources and technology at our disposal, can’t we think of a better way to protect our most sacred building other than medieval sharp objects? In Third World countries, it is a common practice to simply embed shards of broken glass in cement atop walls to keep people out. Is that what’s next for our White House?

Anyway, where’s Grover Norquist when we need him? In addition to the “no new taxes” pledge, he should solicit a “remove the White House fence spikes” pledge from every Republican presidential candidate. As The Post reports, “The points will be removable.” So the next president can have them taken away immediately after his or her inauguration.

I hate to think the only thing standing between a would-be assassin and our president is a sharp stick. It’s hard to imagine that installing iron spikes on the White House fence is the best solution. The rest of the world will notice that this display of primitive brutality has been deemed the necessary means of securing our president and the White House. But it’s not too late. President Obama can stop this. Let’s hope he does.

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