For once, the president was understated, maybe because he has been cutting funding for the space program significantly. A point of national pride? This wasn't just another Olympic moment for Team USA on the balance beam. This landing represents a far greater achievement that will pay huge dividends in terms of both territorial exploration (think Lewis and Clark) and national security (dominance in space when the Chinese are trying to overtake us).
Too bad President Obama plans to slash the Mars program's budget from $587 million to just $188 million by 2015, proving he's willing to spend more on failed boondoggles like Solyndra than programs with proven track records. If only NASA was founded by one of his campaign bundlers.
It illustrates a serious problem. Barack Obama lacks the creative vision we usually demand of our leaders. We all know he's a big spender. He's been borrowing, printing, and spending money like there's no tomorrow. But he has been far too unwilling to invest in endeavors that truly illustrate the best of man's potential.
How can a successful program that has so many future implications for advancing American interests get left behind by a president whose campaign slogan is "Forward"? How does a bloated and ever expanding budget somehow cut one of the few programs that improves lives with technology, demonstrates defense capabilities, and captures the world's imagination?
With decisions like these, no wonder our nation has lost its moxy.
Look at where Barack Obama is interested in moving us away from and what he is interested in moving us towards, and you see a leader seriously lacking in intellectual curiosity.
Space is supposed to be the final frontier, where nations dream to soar. Barack Obama has turned NASA's attention away from space exploration and towards more earthly endeavors like Muslim outreach and Al Gore's global warming alarmism.
If President Obama doesn't have a passing interest in new frontiers, maybe it's because he's been molded by a dogma mostly concerned with controlling old ones. Or perhaps outer space is just too vast to redistribute.
Frontiers, by their very definition, are places unbridled by man. They are the unknown, the unsettled, the wild and the free, places of unlimited potential and possibilty. Is there any place a centralized planner would find less appealing?
America has always worked as a nation because we attract the dreamers and explorers, the risk takers, those willing to give up the banality of the old world for new opportunities. It has always been the place where you proved yourself through ingenuity and independent spirit. Throughout his life experience, President Obama has demonstrated neither.
We are a nation of Frontiers, first the east coast and then the west, and when all that land was settled - space, computers, technology, and beyond. An America that doesn't encourage pursuit of new frontiers and doesn't celebrate going boldly where no man or woman's gone before is hardly America at all. For all the problems Barack Obama complains about inheriting, they were at least American ideals. But they don't seem to suit him and so he's going to leave us with less.
This is how a nation built on hard work and imagination is left only to imagine its once great potential while a naval-gazing president tells us to keep dreaming smaller. You want free contraception and food stamps, no problem. You want to discover new worlds, break boundaries, and explore new horizons? Forget about it.
Curiosity killed the cat, but President Obama has done his best to kill curiosity.