To the Moon?

TO THE MOON?….Space.com, via MSNBC, on George Bush’s plans for the space program:

Despite widespread speculation that a major presidential announcement on space is at hand, White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters Thursday that President Bush has no plans to make any policy announcement about the U.S. space program ?in the near future.?

The Washington Post, via MSNBC, on George Bush’s plans for the space program:

President Bush?s aides are considering a new lunar exploration program and other unifying national goals, including a campaign to promote longevity or fight childhood illness or hunger, as they sift ideas for a fresh agenda for the final year of his term, administration officials said yesterday.

So which is it?

What’s weird, in a way, is that all of the “big ideas” in the second story have such a retro 60s feel to them: going to the moon, finding a cure for cancer, funding hunger programs, and universal child healthcare. Some of them ? though definitely not a lunar version of aerospace corporate welfare ? are worthy goals, but they sound more like Great Society programs than 21st century Republican programs.

For all their talk about being the “party of ideas” these days, when it comes time to actually find an idea Republicans grab one from LBJ’s workpile. It’s sort of a tacit admission that all the genuine Republican ideas are way too unpopular to push during an election year.

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