Yes, yes, he’s yet another Washington insider: anybody who was stupid enough to believe Senator Obama when he said “The real gamble in this election is playing the same Washington game with the same Washington players and expecting a different result.” shouldn’t vote anyway, for the good of the Republic. But Oberstar?
This is the guy who tried to amend The Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act in 2004 by adding language that would have regulated suborbital flights to almost regular-airline levels – or, to put it more bluntly; this is the guy who tried to wreck the American space tourism industry. When he became House Transportation Chair after 2006, there was some worries that he might want a second crack; fortunately, he apparently wasn’t able to get the excuse to get one. But if he’s Secretary of Transportation… well, Rand Simberg sums it up perfectly: “Uh-oh” (see also here).
To every space enthusiast who voted for Senator Obama… thanks, guys. Thanks a lot. But look on the bright side: maybe the Chinese will put together something in a decade or two.
PS: Don’t bother contacting Obama’s people. If they didn’t care enough to run his name, or they did and didn’t care enough to find somebody else, then they won’t care that you’re complaining. You’re better off contacting the Ranking Member for Commerce, Science & Transportation:
SENATOR KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON
284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-4304
…although any worried Democratic space enthusiasts reading this should remember that her ability to do anything about this potential mess is currently somewhere between nil and zilch. Yeah, that was really bright of you guys, huh?