Wednesday, May 02, 2012

A Quibble

I like reading James Taranto's Best of the Web but I do have a small issue with yesterday's lead paragraph:
Imagine if President Nixon had decided to base his 1972 re-election campaign on the boast that he landed on the moon. His predecessors tried and failed for eight years. It wasn't an easy decision - what if something went wrong? But that's why you hire a president, to make those gutsy calls. Which path would George McGovern have taken?
I've liked the landing on the moon to killing bin Laden comparison but I have to take issue with the last sentence. I don't think any thinking person believes that Romney would have hesitated to also give the order to kill Osama bin Laden but McGovern actually might have decided against the moon landing. People forget but one of McGovern's campaign planks in 1972 was a pledge to end the nascent Space Shuttle program. McGovern planned to use those funds on domestic programs. Who is to say that if elected in 1968 he wouldn't have made the same decision when it came to the moon landing?