Jeff Manber has some thoughts on the upcoming (and inevitable) backlash against the upcoming Augustine report.
I’m not sure I quite agree on his taxonomy of the opposition. Or rather, the limited degree to which he describes and breaks it down. I absolutely agree that to oppose any policy change simply because it’s Barack Obama’s is senseless, just as opposing the VSE was senseless when it was based on nothing other than the fact that it was proposed by George Bush (though many did that, by their own admission). But the Ares defenders come in (at least two flavors): those who truly believe that it’s a great idea, or at least that nothing better is like to replace it, and those for whom it is a meal ticket. I have much more respect for the former, delude though they may be. I have little for the latter, though their actions are certainly understandable. But they should not pretend that they have anything to do with advancing humanity, or this country, in space.
In any event, nothing good will come from such a backlash. It will either result in a continuation of the current disaster, with not more money to pay for it, and just a postponement of the inevitable, or continued drift and policy infighting. My fear is that the private sector will be collateral damage, if not a direct target.
[Sunday evening update]
Jeff Krukin thinks that political inertia will reign. Sadly, I think he’s right. That’s bad news for the taxpayers, but it’s overwhelmed by other bad news for the taxpayers in general on other larger fronts. And I hope that the private sector will prevail, though I fear it will not. Either way, if he’s right, the government will continue to do little to open up space, and much to prevent it, while spending billions of taxpayer dollars on programs that purport to do so.