I know I shouldn’t feed the troll, but Mark Whittington is sometimes amusing. On his blog, he quoted a commenter to NASAWatch:
A commenter named Robert B. has a great answer:
Congress doesn’t trust NASA’s administrators to follow the will of Congress. The admins have proven that they will use the letter of the law to circumvent the intent of Congress. So Congress feels they need to be very specific about what they want done, to the point of being too specific. I don’t blame Congress, but it’s less than optimal I agree.
I think we need new NASA administrators once Congress has passed this budget. The current admins were picked in order to dismantle Constellation and move Obamaspace forward. Now that’s over with, we need administrators who are skilled in executing a space exploration program, and that Congress can trust.
This is all amusing, because the only reason Bolden was picked was because Congress thought he was going to be a shuttle-hugging lapdog for Congressional interests. That because he had been an astronaut, and had flown Nelson on the Shuttle that somehow he’d be easy to control to keep the pork flowing to their district. There were several other potential people for administrator who were probably more qualified, who “had skill in executing space exploration programs” (like say Steve Isakowitz), who were passed over explicitly because Congress didn’t want someone who knew what they were doing.
The problem is Congress (and most NASA fanboys) still don’t want an administrator who is actually innovative and knows what they’re doing. Because a NASA admin who knew what they were doing would do an even better job of pointing out how stupid it is to design an HLV *right now* when you don’t even know what the mission for it is, won’t have any hardware to use it, and will be stuck paying for it for decades to come. They want the status quo to continue so they can keep using NASA as a way to funnel benefits to their constituents at the nation’s expense.