Idiot Conservatives

Eric Berger has the story on how, in attacking SpaceX, they’re ripping off the taxpayer and actively damaging national security.

[Update a while later]

Meanwhile, the target launch date for Falcon Heavy is now late December.

21 thoughts on “Idiot Conservatives”

  1. No shit. Also what’s with the McCain bashing that a lot of you Conservatives do? It’s kinda beyond me really.

    Finally, what’s wrong with being nationalistic and wanting to use native resources on what is ostensibly a defense capability like space launch for the DoD? Sheesh. I bet if it was to give money to Boeing for another tanker deal these same people would just swallow it all up.

    1. Also what’s with the McCain bashing that a lot of you Conservatives do?

      McCain is eminently bashable; he does lots of stupid things (like cut off access to RD-180s while not giving a damn about Soyuz flight purchases).

      1. A while back weren’t you saying using those engines was a violation of some law or another?

        I’ve noticed Berger is either for or against the Russian engines depending on which allows him to criticize Republicans.

        We should be cutting our dependence on the Russians but some people think they weren’t a threat until a few months ago, our government is too wrapped up in cronyism, and NASA prefers to slow roll commercial crew. These are problems that extend beyond just Republicans.

      2. Well, the thing is Soyuz is used for manned spaceflight launches, which aren’t as essential to the security of the US as the vehicles used by, say, the NRO.

        1. The issue isn’t the utility of the launches, but the fact that it’s putting money in Putin’s coffers. Both do that, and McCain professes to care about that, but apparently only if it’s for a DoD launch.

  2. Elon has opened himself up to such attacks because he’s acted as a smart businessman and not a politician along with the fact that he’s bought in to climate change and other bogus lefty arguments. If the govt. is handing out money, he would be foolish not to get his.

    As for the conservatives attacking him, they’ve simply got him wrong on this simplified one dimensional perspective.

    I’d like to know the correlation between these idiot conservatives and never-Trumpers because it seems the same one dimensional thinking is at work in both groups.

    Godzilla, McCain has been a thorn in the side of conservatives since at least the Keating five (which has personally had an adverse affect on my family.) McCain can be trusted on knowing who foreign friend and foe are, but almost nothing else (he has no clue about domestic friend or foe.)

    1. People on the right dislike Musk because of his two other companies. Unfortunately SpaceX gets lumped in there because Musk controls all three. I guess its only two now though.

      I think many people on the right also like SpaceX and those that don’t are open to persuasion. When I read the comments though, SpaceX defenders are not great ambassadors. Some people wont change their mind but the person you are in a flame war with isn’t your only audience.

    2. McCain can be trusted on knowing who foreign friend and foe are, but almost nothing else

      McCain has a long list of foreign foes – starting with Russia – and he would invade every single one he could manage, if he were president. For him, the Cold War must go on, somehow.

      1. You may be right. There are many reasons he should never be president, but he’s been right on more than cold war foes. In that department only, he is almost the perfect anti-Obama. I simply would not trust him on anything else.

  3. Wow the comments over there really need crack-pipe smoke accompaniment:

    The fact that Musk is an immigrant probably plays in to the hate too.

    Musk, a naturalized American citizen since 2002, sounds” foreign”, is from a foreign country, has “crazy” ideas and hires people who can do the job regardless of national origin, a natural target for the xenophobic conservative press.

    Breitbart should change their name to the Paul Joseph Goebbels fan club. Propaganda is their passion, destroying anything good is their mission.

    From Berger:
    This is not a particularly new line of attack against Musk, especially among some conservatives who decry the public money his companies have received to build solar power facilities, electric cars, and low-cost rockets.

    So I can’t criticize the money taken from me that he gets to use to lower to price of his cars without being grouped together with the nutjobs quoted above? What a crock.

    1. “Wow the comments over there really need crack-pipe smoke accompaniment:”

      Avoid the comments at Arse Technica.

  4. Section 1615 restricts how the Secretary of Defense can spend money on these new launch systems, allowing funds to only be spent on engine development, the interface between a new engine (i.e., AR1) and an existing launch vehicle (i.e., Atlas V), or to pay for expenses unique to military launches, such as certification costs and vertical integration of payloads. Critically, for ULA, it does not allow for spending on other parts of the rocket. This restriction is what the conservative editorial writers are railing against.

    He must have wrote this wrong. Conservatives are upset that the DoD can’t spend money on parts of the launcher other than the engine and interface? Isn’t that what Berger is upset over?

    A problem goes untouched here. Not only is congress dictating what engine to use ULA isn’t likely to spend more on developing its own product. Is it wrong for a Republican to engage in cronyism that hurts ULA’s attempt at cronyism?

    If Aerojet benefits from Section 1615, and ULA the loser, why does SpaceX get the blame in these editorials?

    Isn’t this a strawman? What articles blame SpaceX for this? None that are linked.

    For opponents of Section 1615, therefore, SpaceX, its lightning rod chief executive Musk, and known political ally McCain

    McCain goes from bad guy to good guy. To me it looks like views about Musk, McCain, SpaceX, and Section 1615 are all unrelated, or at least not related in the crazy way Berger tries to make them.

    It’s like going to a space conference and it’s a bunch of space people that hear what they expect to hear with no new listeners

    Just like Berger’s oped. None of it makes sense but it appeal to what his audience wants to hear. And because its what they want to hear, they wont pick it apart. There are serious issues at play here but the all go unexplored.

    1. OK, there was a single article linked that blames SapceX. Berger is right that SpaceX shouldn’t get the blame because while they do benefit, Aerojet is the company that most directly benefits.

      The Federalist piece is wrong about SpaceX costing the country money with their launch failures. NASA has saved more on launches than those payloads cost. That’s without even getting into the advantages of a pay for service development program.

      The Federalist piece is right though that that military wants more than one launch provider and that rocket engines are not plug and play. I think Berger would largely agree with the Federalist piece except for what they said about SpaceX. That a single article drug SpaceX into this is maybe remarkable but only in the larger context.

      Its not only wrong to constrict ULA’s engine choices but also for ULA to refuse to shoulder more of the burden for developing their product. An article deflecting with an attack against SpaceX is the least thing wrong.

  5. I’ve mentioned the Musk-hate on conservative sites before. The commenters always talk about Tesla getting government subsidies, while never noting that all electric cars are eligible for the same subsidies.

    Tesla is still a small niche car company in terms of units sold. I haven’t seen any numbers, but I strongly suspect that the large established auto companies like GM and Toyota are getting more subsidies than Tesla.

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