Emailer Alan Bryan points out this little vignette from the WaPo:
Dallas, Tex.: If elected President, what are your plans for NASA and the Space Program? Do you think it’s time to retire the Shuttle and move on to bigger and better things, such as a human mission to Mars, or returning to the moon?
Howard Dean: I am a strong supporter of NASA and every government program that furthers scientific research. I don’t think we should close the shuttle program but I do believe that we should aggressively begin a program to have manned flights to Mars. This of course assumes that we can change Presidents so we can have a balanced budget again.
Hah! A Democrat president who can balance the budget.
Well, actually, maybe, assuming that he retains a Republican congress…
Anyway, this is meaningless for two reasons. First, he’s not going to be elected (and this stance will do nothing to help–it’s more likely to hurt), and second, the last time we had a Democrat announce a mission to another world, it ended up with flags and footprints, and no sustaining infrastructure. There’s no reason to think that this would be any different.
Jay Manifold has some additional thoughts.