Campaign '04

Election aftermath

With the 2004 election now behind us (sooner than I had imagined—or feared), Florida Today examined what Bush’s reelection and the Republicans’ hold on Congress meant for space policy. According to those interviewed, the election gives NASA an opportunity to solidify the Vision for Space Exploration through CEV development, an initial lunar robotic mission, and related activities. The article cautions towards the end, though, that budget pressures could cause problems for the program—and presumably NASA in general— down the road. (Ignore the reference to a $7-trillion budget deficit, though.)

The success of the vision appears to depend on the answers to a few key questions:

  1. Will Congress be more willing to support and fund the VSE now that Bush has been reelected?
  2. Will the President be willing to speak out and use political capital to support the VSE if Congress isn’t willing to fully support it?
  3. Will Sean O’Keefe be “promoted” to a higher, possibly Cabinet-level position next year, as has been frequently rumored? If so, when does he leave (before or after RTF), and who might take his place?

17 comments to Election aftermath

  • Dogsbd

    On question number 3 I believe I would like to see Admiral Steidle replace O’Keefe should O’Keefe leave NASA.

  • Sam Dinkin

    Don’t forget about the veto power and the threat of one.

  • Bill White

    Did Sherwood Boehlert win?

  • John Malkin

    An article about the effects of a Bush Victory on the space program from Nov 3rd.!NEWSROOM/spacestoryN1104PREZSPACEE.htm

  • Jeff Foust

    Bill: Yes, Boehlert was reelected, see a recent post:

    John: The URL you provided was the same as the one in the original post. Did you mean to reference a different article?

  • Philip Littrell

    You could argue that the Vision for Space Exploration is part of Bush’s mandate, since Bush announced it in an election year (which was politically risky), and the Kerry campaign’s space policy specifically opposed it.

    The thing to do now is to politely ask the White House and Congress to fund the vision.

  • MrEarl

    This is the first time I have ever voted for a candidate on a single issue. I voted for the president strictly for the Vision for Space Exploration. It’s not a perfect plan by any means, but it dose put NASA on a path of exploration and it’s the most comprehensive direction given to NASA since the moon landings. It’s now up to us to see that the president stands by this plan so that by the time he leaves office it has become so ingrained in NASA and the American public that it can’t be turned back by the next administration or congress. On Wednesday president Bush said the election gave him political capital and that he intended to spend it. I just want to make sure that he spends some on the VSE.
    To those of you who do not support the Vision for Space Exploration, I know it has flaws. It doesn’t include enough opportunities for the private sector and the time lines are too long especially to put men on Mars which has no definite time frame. All these things can be fixed. One thing that has always limited the space lobby effectiveness has been the fact that there are too many special interest groups, fighting for their little specialty, to be done their way or else and they’ll slam any other group who doesn’t totally agree with their “vision”. That has to end if we want to make any meaningful human exploration of the solar system in the next 50 years.
    To those of you who didn’t support the president, the American people spoke in one of the biggest voter turnouts in 40 years. What good dose it do to put down a plan for human exploration for the solar system, (something most of us agree should happen soon,) just because it came from the wrong candidate? Lets make lemonade out of lemons and at least get something you care about, a more robust space program.
    How can we do this? First write the White House. Letters, phone calls and emails have great effect in large numbers. Same goes for your representatives and senators.
    Second join a lobbing group like the Planetary Society or the National Space Society or the Mars Society. Make sure that they belong to the Space Exploration Alliance fighting to make the Vision for Space Exploration real. If we don’t put the squabbling aside and work together this will just become another missed opportunity and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

  • Jason Rhian

    I like Mr. Earl voted for the President because of the space initiative, that and just how snobbish and nasty the dems came off. I can’t speak for anyone else but I intend to write all my representatives and urge them to support it. I’ve gone so far as to start a new chapter for the National Space Society. We’ve waited 35 years, the time for waiting is over, it’s time for action. The great thing about the new vision is that it isn’t “lets go to the moon and then what?” It’s build as we go, stay where we have been. This will allow us to advance further and further. I support this initiative fully and hope those who opposed the president for other reasons will at least back him on this!

  • Philip Littrell

    You can submit messages to the White House by using White House Interactive. It’s unlikely that they will publish your message, but it will let them know that people care about space and NASA.

  • Philip Littrell

    You can write to Congress and the President by using

  • I did not vote for Mr. Bush and I personally believe that he is the single worse and most dangerous President our nation has seen in modern times. However, I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Earl. Mr. Bush may be close to an unmitigated disaster for our nation and for the world, but in this one area, he or his advisors have come up with what is unambiguously the correct policy. I do and will oppose this man who would replace a democracy with a religious government executing an ideological overseas jihad largely indistinguishable from those of our enemies, but the _policy_ will receive my continued support. The policy and the man are two different entities and it is important to distinguish one from the other.

    — Donald

  • Dogsbd

    Clean that spittle off of your chin Donald.

  • No spittle, Mr. Dogsbd. Unlike many others on this site, I have called no one names and have been able to distinguish good policy from otherwise reprehensible behavior. I make no apologies for my opinion of Mr. Bush, which I believe to be more-or-less accurate. History will tell. . . .

    — Donald

  • Dogsbd

    True you didn’t call Bush any “names” but you did use: “the single worse and most dangerous President”, “unmitigated disaster for our nation and for the world”, “replace a democracy with a religious government”, and “overseas jihad largely indistinguishable from those of our enemies” in rapid succession. I was waiting for “running dog imperialist lackey” to come up.

  • I repeat:

    I make no apologies for my opinion of Mr. Bush, which I believe to be more-or-less accurate. History will tell. . . .

    And, oh yes, Mr. Bush is demanding that the rest of the world conform to standards set solely by the United States. How would you define an imperialist?

  • Dogsbd

    >Mr. Bush is demanding that the rest of the world conform to standards set solely by the United States.

    What might those standards be?

  • Well, in a sense, it really doesn’t matter.

    However, off the top of my head, the standard that it is okay to preemptively attack any country you perceive as a threat or to force them to become what we define as a democracy. The standard that US soldiers only obey international law when they agree with it. The standard that our environmental faiths trump everyone else’s needs, for example, global warming does not exist whatever the rest of the world may think, and our refusal to work with the rest of the world on dealing with a probable problem for which we are a major cause. The standard that, because some large percentage of us believe in certain kinds of family structures and behavior, international organizations to which we contribute must enforce those standards whatever they and other contributors may need or think. The standard that “our god is better than theirs” and that, and that alone, makes us right.

    All of these boil down to might makes right — the very essence of imperialism.

    It may be true that might makes right, but in the past we have held ourselves to a higher standard — at least in word and occasionally in deed. We used to try to be a different and better country and to set a standard for the rest of the world. Today we are wallowing in the mud just like everyone else, holding and even torturing without trial people we define as our enemies and insisting that there is nothing wrong with that, attacking countries that haven’t attacked us, clamping down on civil liberties at home, ad nausium.

    How is that different from Sadam’s behavior? We are no longer different in kind; only in degree — and in raw power. Whatever the justification, I think that is a very dangerous and sad thing to happen to my country.

    And, to bring this back to the matter at hand, playing imperial power while pretending that it doesn’t cost any sacrifice at home has eaten up every penny that Mr. Bush might have spent returning us to Earth’s moon and going on to Mars. . . .