Opinion: Sen. Shelby Putting Politics Above Principles

richard-shelbyBill Whitaker: NASA doesn’t have monopoly on ingenuity, spunk in 21st century space race
Waco Tribune

Some insist NASA should be concentrating on the conquest of space and new rocket technologies, leaving the nuts and bolts of building more conventional rockets for NASA to spunky outfits such as SpaceX.

The debate has created rifts. U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, a Republican conservative who has made a career of attacking government-run programs, ironically is all for those in his home state, including the beleaguered Constellation program.

Most recently, he sought to divert more money originally targeted for private rocketry firms such as SpaceX into the government-run Constellation program. Some political observers fear he’ll succeed, too, unless U.S. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn weigh in.

No doubt, Shelby is doing all this out of concern for the jobs at stake in his state of Alabama. And yet, his arguments seem contrary to cherished Republican principles, going against the very grain of private enterprise and the ingenuity that often sprouts in such endeavors.

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