Campaign '04

Election eve articles in TSR

This week’s edition of The Space Review has three articles that touch upon space policy and the Presidential election:

  • Sam Dinkin looks at Kerry’s space policy and find that it “really says more about his domestic, Iraq, and terrorism policies than indicates much about what will happen for space in a Kerry presidency.”
  • Greg Zsidisin asks the question on the minds of Democratic space activists: vote for your party’s candidate, or for the candidate who proposed a new space exploration policy? Find out why he’s sticking with Kerry.
  • Taylor Dinerman examines the missile defense policies of Bush and Kerry with a particular eye towards space-based missile defense. While Bush is the stronger of the two on this topic, “there seems to be no real possibility that the US will be able to deploy any kind of boost-phase interceptor, either ground-based or space-based, by the end of his second term.”

24 comments to Election eve articles in TSR

  • Mark R. Whittington

    Greg Zsidisin ought to be ashamed of himself, comparing Bush to Hitler and pro space Bush supporters to Nazis (while claiming he is not doing so.) I am surprised that The Space Review would publish this bit of political hate speech.

  • Jeff Foust

    Mark,

    You may have missed this sentence in Greg’s article: “I would not suggest that George W. Bush merits comparison to Hitler.” That said, it’s easy to see why Bush partisans might see the comparison. The language is too strong for my own taste, but it does appear to reflect the feelings of some Democrats who want a strong space policy but are staunchly opposed to Bush’s other policies.

    As editor, I’m willing to give writers a little slack; it’s up to them whether they hang themselves with it or not.

  • “Now I’m not saying that Greg is a child molester, but…”

    It’s a very sneaky rhetorical device to deny that you’re doing something as a way of reinforcing that you’re doing just that.

  • Eric Batson

    W has a Congress where BOTH houses are Republican. If he was serious about space policy he would have the new programs funded and in effect by now. George Bush has made MANY empty promises before. (“By far the majority of my tax cut will go to the poor and middle class” for starters) His so-called “space policy” is an empty promise that he will never fulfill. Don’t fall for it, evaluate the man on his ACTIONS, not his words.

  • W has a Congress where BOTH houses are Republican. If he was serious about space policy he would have the new programs funded and in effect by now.

    The programs are funded and in effect now. But even if they weren’t, just because the Congress is Republican doesn’t mean that the president gets everything he wants, and to think otherwise is to display an amazing naivety about the Beltway.

  • Mark R. Whittington

    No, Jeff, I read that. But I also read the paragraph after paragraph in which Greg does compare Bush to Hitler and his supporters to Nazis. As Rand suggested, it’s like saying, “Now, I’m not comparing Greg is like Hannible Lector, but he is sure like some guy who likes to eat human flesh isn’t he?”

  • Dogsbd

    The Zsidisin is utter drivel, it should have no place on a serious space policy site.

  • Bill White

    Are we Americans holding sufficient cards to dominate space or are we heading toward a showdown we cannot win?

    Taylor Dinerman wrote an outstanding piece about the Moon being to the 21st and 22nd centuries what Gibraltar was during the Age of Sail. Neitzche said that pain is a better teacher than pleasure, and French historians are all too aware of how the British naval base at Gibraltar was an incessant thorn in the French side.

    In my opinion France, Russia and China will ally and do whatever it takes to deny the US domination over the Moon, perhaps even nuclear war, if necessary. Thus, a policy aimed at unilateral US space domination will be disastrous for our Republic and our planet.

    In some ways, this question relies on the assessment of facts.

    Concerning space development, is America holding a full house while the rest of the world has a few measly pairs, or might Paris, Moscow and Beijing pool their cards and trump ours?

    If our genuises can build low cost alt-space launchers, why can’t the Chinese steal a few, reverse engineer and then mass produce those same rockets faster than we can with labor that is paid 25% or less of our pay scales?

    In the short run, technology can forestall demographics and birth rates, but especially in this internet age when technology can be easily stolen, looking to weapons systems as the primary source of our security just seems foolish.

    = = =

    But then how many Bush supporters believe “The Rapture” is imminent, which makes everything else rather beside the point.

    Why any science minded (reality based) person would seek to empower the creationists is something that escapes me.

  • MrEarl

    You’re scary sometimes Bill.
    Brilliant, but scary.

  • Bill White

    After further thought, I believe Greg Zsidisin was most imprudent to link Bush and Hitler despite however many caveats he offers. So I reject Bush = Hitler. Bush = Hitler is bad.

    That said, Professor Juan Cole offers a marvelous analysis of how another Bush term in office will seriously undermine the War on Terror.

    Therefore, Greg, shame on you for the Bush = Hitler cracks. That’s a low blow, most unfair.

    However, I will also be voting for John Kerry for prety much the same reasons as you, just not the Bush = Hitler stuff.

  • Bush does not equal Hitlar, but he doesn’t have to to be pretty damned scary. He is willing declare war on a country that has not attacked us and was not likely to at least in the near future, in the process killing a lot of young Americans — all for the hatred of a man he perceived as defeating his father. (Lest I be misunderstood, I fully supported Bush’s actions in Afghanistan and wish he’d followed them through.) He is fully prepared to bankrupt the country by combining an expensive war with tax cuts for the wealthy — something for which I know of no precedent in US history. He is willing to let Carl Rove continue to abuse racial tensions to get himself elected, thereby further dividing the country. He is willing to use a war to implement a social ajenda for which he has no mandate whatsoever. We will never know who really won or lost the last election, but the bottom line was that Bush was willing to take power without acurately counting the votes, something that, in the end, Gore was not willing to do. We will only find out Bush’s spots if he loses this election and allows Kerry to take power. In that event, I admit that I have no faith whatsoever in the outcome.

    – Donald

  • AJ Mackenzie

    The programs are funded and in effect now.

    really? I thought the funding for the CEV, LRO, and other exploration mission components was still being debated in congress, which didn’t look too highly on them at last check. what is in effect now?

  • Keith Cowing

    FOUST: You may have missed this sentence in Greg’s article: “I would not suggest that George W. Bush merits comparison to Hitler.” That said, it’s easy to see why Bush partisans might see the comparison. The language is too strong for my own taste, but it does appear to reflect the feelings of some Democrats who want a strong space policy but are staunchly opposed to Bush’s other policies.

    Huh? Please show me where another Democrat mentioned Bush and Hitler – in the same sentence- when discussing space policy.

  • Jeff Foust

    Keith,

    I guess I didn’t make myself clear in my comment. I’m not claiming that others are using the same language as Greg chose in reference to space policy (or anything else, for that matter); rather, that there are some people out there who like Bush’s space policy but have strong feelings against his other policies, or even against him in general. Hence the dilemma Greg posed in his article: what do you do when a candidate you dislike proposes a space policy that you like? He offered one solution, although that has been lost in the discussion about the way he chose to express it.

    I can’t speak for Greg, but I will say as editor I erred by not giving more careful consideration to how that section of his article might be interpreted by some people.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Greg Zsidisin ought to be ashamed of himself, comparing Bush to Hitler and pro space Bush supporters to Nazis (while claiming he is not doing so.) I am surprised that The Space Review would publish this bit of political hate speech.

    Posted by Mark R. Whittington at November 1, 2004 07:47 AM

  • Robert G. Oler

    Posted by Jeff Foust at November 1, 2004 06:52 PM

  • Bill White

    A brief follow up metaphor or analogy concerning why Bush is wrong for winning the War on Terror:

    The elderly mother-in-law of friend of mine was in the hospital. Doctors thought she had asthma so they gave her steroids to fight the asthma.

    Turns out she actually had a flare up of tuberculosis encapsulated since childhood and the steroids were like throwing gasoline on a smoldering match. The TB flared out of control and killed her very quickly.

    = = =

    If Juan Cole is correct (see link above) and he is a professor who has spent his life studying Islam, then the Bush strategy for the war on terror is rather like giving steroids to a TB patient. This is why that bastard OBL can appear so smug on video.

    Bush is inflaming terrorism, not fighting it.

    In comparison, space policy is trivial.

  • Dogsbd

    >Bush is inflaming terrorism, not fighting it.

    I guess when the Marines landed on Guadalcanal that was just “inflaming the Japs” huh?

  • I thought the funding for the CEV, LRO, and other exploration mission components was still being debated in congress, which didn’t look too highly on them at last check. what is in effect now?

    The initial studies for exploration architectures, the CEV, and human robotics and technologies are in effect now. The contractors are funded and studying. That could change in the future (and almost certainly will if Senator Kerry becomes president), but for now, things are funded and moving forward per the president’s plans.

  • Bill White

    I guess when the Marines landed on Guadalcanal that was just “inflaming the Japs” huh?

    Different enemy, different war. If we had already invaded Iran and Syria your analogy might have merit.

    The terror schools we MUST close are in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Egypt. Right now, jihad against Israel, jihad against America is being preached in mosques throughout Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan and Egypt.

    Remember, Guadalcanal was followed on by Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Actually, that strategy might work, but Bush doesn’t have the balls to invade the rest of the Islamic countries, or destroy oil prodiction for a generation. Nor would America go along.

    But those places is where the queen wasps of al Qaeda live. Not in Iraq.

    = = =

    To invade and occupy Iraq and not close the terror schools in Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia is like giving steroids to a TB patient. It inflames the disease rather than fighting it.

    And bin Laden knows he has out-foxed Bush. And is damn smug about it.

    = = =

    Okay, no more non-space politics here. But the topic, why there are boigger reasons not to vote Bush, is on point.

    = = =

    No matter what happens today, peace to every reader of this web-site. :-)

  • Bill White

    Sorry, one more thing, dogsbd, Guadalcanal you say?

    Okay, so why the tax cut? Would a massive tax cut have been called for in 1942?

  • Robert G. Oler

    guess when the Marines landed on Guadalcanal that was just “inflaming the Japs” huh?

    Posted by Dogsbd at November 2, 2004 07:40 AM

  • Brad

    Moral idiocy of anti-Iraq war partisans

    Saddam declared in 1998 he would no longer recognize the Iraq no-fly zones. Since then Iraq has tried to shoot down planes patrolling the no-fly zones and we have bombed Iraq targets in retaliation.

    Because of that, a state of war existed since 1998. Bush didn’t start the war, Bush finished it.

  • Jeff Foust

    Given the discussion has drifted from space, I’m closing the comments for this post. Sorry.