Insty links the Foresight Institute, emphasis mine:
With space travel, there’s a pretty straightforward answer: the Apollo project was a political stunt, albeit a grand and uplifting one; there was no compelling reason to go to the moon given the cost of doing so. The nature of political stunts is such that it does you no good to repeat one, even if you can do the same thing better or cheaper or whatever.
His next post quotes Megan McArdle:
What happened to the dream? Government mismanagement, yes, but something more than that, too, some failure of imagination and will.
Your attention is drawn to the Cold War. Anyone failing to grasp that the whole warheads-on-foreheads concern, and the need for supporting navigation/missile systems, was among the chief drivers for everything NASA was doing in the 60s and 70s is urged to take a more cynical read of the subtext of the Outer Space Treaty. Think Curtis LeMay, not Tom Swift.
My question is, If Sarah Palin makes funding NASA a national priority, funding exploration through a re-vitalized, de-centralized capitalist economy, will the loony Left
a) blame Bush for not having done all that sooner, or
b) blame Palin for marring the Martian ecosystem with human presence?