Classless to the Lastest: Trump Claims Credit for Crew-1 Launch, NASA Success

Donald Trump’s grasp of American history has never been particularly good. In fact, you could say it stinks. Who else would regale a Fourth of July crowd in a city named after George Washington with a story about how the general and his Continental Army stormed British-held airports back in the 18th century?

Well, nobody.

The above tweet isn’t any more accurate. NASA was hardly closed up or a disaster. Nor is it, for that matter, a space center. It’s a space agency. But, that’s not the important part.

The launch on Sunday was a result of the NASA Commercial Crew Program begun under the Obama Administration. The Falcon 9 rocket and a cargo version of the Dragon spacecraft were developed under a program begun under the second Bush Administration.

It’s said that success has 100 fathers and that failure is an orphan. Trump believes he’s the father of every success, and that every single failure is everyone else’s fault.

As head of the National Space Council, Vice President Mike Pence knows that space projects are often begun during one administration and actually launched during another.

However, Pence also knows that without frequent praise, his boss gets cranky and starts firing people he deems insufficiently loyal and/or sycophantic. Hence, this obsequious tweet.

Pence at least credited NASA and SpaceX. And he actually showed up for the launch, which Trump did not.

Meanwhile, President elect Joe Biden — who was vice president when the commercial crew program began — saw this as a triumph for NASA, SpaceX and the nation as a whole.

It’s a classy tweet. I look forward to more of these in the years ahead.