Gingrich in Florida: How does the idea of a colony on the moon grab you?

posted at 8:30 pm on January 25, 2012 by Allahpundit

Just last night I was thinking, “If only Obama would add permanent lunar colonies to his endless wish list of federal projects.”

He promised this speech would be “visionary,” didn’t he? You want the Alvin Toffler candidate, you’ve got the Alvin Toffler candidate:

To cheers and applause in an area that has suffered major job losses since the cancellation of the space shuttle, Gingrich said, “By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American.

“We will have commercial near-Earth activities that include science, tourism, and manufacturing, and are designed to create a robust industry precisely on the model of the development of the airlines of the 1930s, because it is in our interest to acquire so much experience in space that we clearly have a capacity that the Chinese and the Russians will never come anywhere close to matching.”…

Responding to rival Mitt Romney’s criticism of his proposal for a lunar settlement, Gingrich said, “When we have 13,000 Americans living on the moon, they can petition to become a state. And here’s the difference between romantics and so-called practical people. I wanted every young American to say to themselves, ‘I could be one of those 13,000. I could be a pioneer. I need to study science and math and engineering. I need to learn how to be a technician. I can be a part of building a bigger, better future.’”

This is, and isn’t, a pander aimed at the locals. It is in the sense that waving big money at NASA is always a crowd-pleaser among Florida’s space industry, but Gingrich comes by it honestly. He’s been pushing this idea for decades in his books. One memorable passage:

I believe space tourism will be a common fact of life during the adulthood of children born this year, that honeymoons in space will be the vogue by 2020. Imagine weightlessness and its effects and you will understand some of the attractions.

Yes, he means just what you think he means. My issue with Gingrich isn’t that the goal is unworthy — Ace does a nice job explaining the national-greatness appeal of big space programs to conservatives — but that message discipline on spending is desperately needed if the GOP is going to convince voters that our fiscal crisis is as dire as it is. How do you tell seniors that we need to start cutting Medicare if you’re busy telling space contractors to get cracking on moon igloos or whatever? And as for national greatness, says Ace, “I can see it going the other direction, more likely — that screw-ups, overruns, general incompetence, and graft and corrupt contracts would wind up diminishing the American spirit you’re trying to build up.” I’m in Gabe Malor’s camp on this one. If/when the day comes that we’ve shaken our status as the brokest nation in human history, then we’ll talk about the space igloos. Maybe. Click the image to watch.


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So that he has been pushing it for a decade makes it a…good idea?

Ground control to Major Tom? How about we get our fiscal house in order before we start the Occupy Moon movement?

Good Heavens.I am all for restarting and re-tasking the space program in a fiscally responsible way. But this is a settlement too far.

Marcus Traianus on January 26, 2012 at 9:17 AM

Space exploration like the military is something for the Fed gov.

Taking care of seniors and the other billions in welfare programs is not for the Fed gov and is not helping, only making weaker people and more welfare dependents.

By the way SS is bigger than just seniors. SS includes the disabled which has become a shameful disgrace filled with fat people getting paid to ride gov bought 5k+ hummervees and worthless people who claim ridiculous things like being 10 or 20% disabled so they can get a check and some pain pills all on the gov tab.

Space exploration is the future and has the possibility of opening up huge financial/economic benefits for the nation that gets in first. Development of permanent space engine (nuclear) for exploration and a moon base for a mid point staging area will open up mining of the asteroid belt and all kinds of new technology and opportunity. The belt itself is full of minerals. Sounds dreamy and in the short run sounds wasteful but big gains require big risk.

C-Low on January 26, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Most conservative candidate evah!

/sarc

mikec3 on January 26, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Well………..you can’t call Ron Paul a ‘moonbat’ any longer!

KOOLAID2 on January 26, 2012 at 9:26 AM

The notion of exploring space, the power of the arts, it doesn’t surprise me that conservatives poo poo these lofty goals. When the goal is ensuring that there is a constant cheap source of labor to keep capitalism going why on earth would you want the government to pursue programs that encourage our youth to dream big. Want to be an astronaut little Jimmy, nah, we’re planning a nice service industry job for you! Sad, sad, state of affairs. Bravo Newt.

libfreeordie on January 26, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Space exploration like the military is something for the Fed gov.

How dare you. Did the Founders want to explore space? Did the Founders want to go to the Moon? Did the Founders write anything about NASA into the constitution? No? Well then I say it shouldn’t happen. This nation was built upon the visions and principles of men in the 18th century and as far as I’m concerned there’s not a single reason to believe that our government should be doing anything other than what they had in mind.

libfreeordie on January 26, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Big Ideas. Most of them stupid. Like Freddie Mac sub prime mortgages are great. Like hauling Judges before Congress is smart.

Basilsbest on January 26, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Space exploration and the technology thereof is relevant to “provide for the common defense” of the Constitution. The “arts”, well, not so much.

Get the piss-poor NEA product and the social-promotion hoodlums out of the abysmal gummint skools and the incentives to dream big might actually return. Otherwise, good parenting can encourage dreams. If the parents are too busy smoking crack or meth and cranking out more babies on the gummint teat will those offspring dream big, well, not so much.

viking01 on January 26, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Newt Gingrich playing the part of a bloated Prof. Harold Hill down in Florida. Tell me, was “Ya got trouble right here in River City” playing when he was making these promises? What a con man.

Rockshine on January 26, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Obama has done one thing right, his space policy directing NASA to use private enterprise space access. Let private investors spend their money to develop launchers, not NASA who this century has twice wasted billions developing launch vehicles that never flew. Private companies like Space-X, Blue Horizon and Virgin Galactic are the way to go.

Do not trust Newt but he’s correct about private enterprise and space.

philw1776 on January 26, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Meanwhile you support a man who claims he can be a God of his own world…it never ceases to amaze me…

right2bright on January 26, 2012 at 1:06 AM

Again, I don’t support Gingrich. (Nor do I support the other two big government candidates.)

EddieC on January 26, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Something you miss about the nature of the free market is that it tends to favor short-term goals. [...]

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on January 25, 2012 at 11:43 PM

This is completely false, and it’s tragic to think that so many self-proclaimed conservatives rationalize their fantasies of “national greatness” spending programs by invoking failed socialist critiques of the free market.

EddieC on January 26, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Er, this was part of NASA’s plans up until 2009 when they “decided” to concentrate on Mars and become the spokesperson for Muslim achievement in science.

I may change my first choice from Santorum to Newt just to let the conservative “influence peddlers” know that every time they take these cheap shots, I’m getting very resistant.

So, just exactly how is Newt reigniting the space program comparable to Romney’s assertion that he’s a progressive? And for gun control? And say what you will but the good ‘ol boy Charlie Crist staff isn’t exactly confidence-building.

You can tell a lot about a man by his enemies and I find it very strange that his enemies are all, every one of them, the “establishment”.

Newt admits mistakes, both professional and personal. Can anyone point to a time when Mitt has admitted to an error (not abortion, I accept his word that he saw the light over human life). And I’m not being provocative. I’d really like to know.

If Romney is going to be the nominee, I really do need to understand him. Has he ever explained his conversion from Paul Tsongas, a far, far lefty, supporter to a “conservative” or does Romney call himself a “moderate” which is code to a conservative that he’s a card-carrying liberal?

Portia46 on January 26, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Things You May Not Know:

There are scientists working on a new energy source called Hydrogen-3 and when they get the process perfected, a spoonful could power NYC for a decade.

Hydrogen-3 is a rarity on Earth because the Ozone Layer (Oxygen-3) in the atmosphere binds with it as it falls to Earth.

Regolith, however, is saturated with it … Regolith is Moon-Dust.

Governments all over the Earth, especially the Chinese, are ramping up space programs so they can have access to this rich energy source when the technology is ready.

By contrast, the US Government is ramping down the space program, replacing it with a Muslim outreach program (NASA becomes MASA) so obviously the all-the-above approach to new sources of energy is actually not-so-much.

Newt Gingrich is proposing changing this national shame back into national pride … but promoting the idea of encouraging the PRIVATE sector to develope the US Space Program instead of making it a government project like Kennedy did.

Unfortunately, too many small minds refuse to pay attention to anything that does not fit their narrative.

TimLenox on January 26, 2012 at 9:56 AM

One of the things that I thought conservatives believe in is that we should not surrender our money/taxes so that the “experts” in government could waste it on useless programs.

And Newt would want us to build a station on the moon and ultimately claim it as a State?

Something has gotten into his head, and it isn’t intelligence, nor particularly conservative. Hair maybe?

new2wnc on January 26, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Two words: I’m IN.

Frankly, I don’t care who’s in the White House from our side as long as we get that manned space future. Let me tell you something – whomever dominates space holds the trump card on Earth.

Newt’s all over the map, but on space exploration, he’s banged on correct.

itzWicks on January 26, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Something has gotten into his head, and it isn’t intelligence, nor particularly conservative. Hair maybe?

new2wnc on January 26, 2012 at 9:58 AM

I think it’s those ear bugs from Star Trek II.

“Must…destroy…the economy…with trillion dollar…boondoggle”

EddieC on January 26, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Frankly, I don’t care who’s in the White House from our side as long as we get that manned space future. Let me tell you something – whomever dominates space holds the trump card on Earth.

Newt’s all over the map, but on space exploration, he’s banged on correct.

itzWicks on January 26, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Did Ron Paul just lose his status as candidate with the most tinfoil hat-wearing supporters?

EddieC on January 26, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Won’t be able to read four pages of comment until later so this may be a repeat:

A moon base, not a populous one, but a long-term one makes Mars exploration far more doable. A Mars launch from Earth would expend most of the resources breaking Earth orbit so a moon-based Mars launch to break Moon orbit more efficiently is the sensible way to get there.

When we had the efficiency minded pioneers like von Braun and Kurt Debus running NASA it was a good mix of private sector and NASA collaboration. Plus the great minds of Bill McDonnell of McDonnell-Douglas, the innovators of Boeing, Rockwell, Pratt-Whitney / Rocketdyne so many great minds and companies with bureaucracy somewhat under control. Yet, even in those glory days von Braun is known to have said in so many words that breaking Earth orbit was less of a problem than the paperwork holding them down. Von Braun had union problems to deal with as well. I remember the story which went around about the impending union cleaning crew strike at NASA where von Braun said: “Give me a broom. I’ll sweep my own office.”

viking01 on January 26, 2012 at 10:13 AM

LOOK at the Wolves coming out ALL over the headlines warning people about Gingrich today.

THIS. is what I have been saying. The people that have served with him and those that have known him for quite awhile could no longer hold their silence.

Gingrich is ALL about Gingrich and they are coming out confirming MANY of our thoughts as well who “knew” him during the 80-90′s.

When people who know you best start to speak, I am thinking at least an 8 point drop because of this. What do you all think?

g2825m on January 26, 2012 at 10:17 AM

What do you all think?

g2825m on January 26, 2012 at 10:17 AM

I think Newt isn’t Mitt which means he gets my vote at this stage.

unseen on January 26, 2012 at 10:24 AM

let me guess.. another rant by Gingrich involving moons, colonialism, and american greatness… yawn

gatorboy on January 26, 2012 at 10:26 AM

What do you all think?

g2825m on January 26, 2012 at 10:17 AM

I think Newt isn’t Mitt which means he gets my vote at this stage.

unseen on January 26, 2012 at 10:24 AM

I think that Gingrich is going to take a hit in the polls.

Also all throughout this week as Republicans roll out the “Where were you when Newt was Speaker…?” gameshow will affect his Grandiosity…

g2825m on January 26, 2012 at 10:28 AM

I think Newt isn’t Mitt which means he gets my vote at this stage.

unseen on January 26, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Neither is Obama, so I guess you will vote for him when the time comes.

Gunlock Bill on January 26, 2012 at 10:32 AM

What do you all think?

g2825m on January 26, 2012 at 10:17 AM

I think it stupid to think Romney is not still a Democrat in his heart.

Totally ultra liberal record in an ultra liberal state he choose to live in as he had the money to live anywhere. Ran to the left of the Democrats but. Republicans are so stupid the believe he changed in 2005.

Steveangell on January 26, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Neither is Obama, so I guess you will vote for him when the time comes.

Gunlock Bill on January 26, 2012 at 10:32 AM

But then too Mitt is Obama V2.

Steveangell on January 26, 2012 at 10:47 AM

SPEWT!

M240H on January 26, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Newt Is tired of cheating on wives on this planet. He wants to know what it’s like to swing on the Moon,baby!

Rockshine on January 26, 2012 at 11:15 AM

I think it stupid to think Romney is not still a Democrat in his heart.

Totally ultra liberal record in an ultra liberal state he choose to live in as he had the money to live anywhere. Ran to the left of the Democrats but. Republicans are so stupid the believe he changed in 2005.

So Mitt can’t have a change of mind/heart regarding policy, but Newt can regarding Adultery? Which is the bigger sin? Which is the bigger stretch to believe someone has changed with their self?

Rockshine on January 26, 2012 at 11:21 AM

gameshow will affect his Grandiosity…

g2825m on January 26, 2012 at 10:28 AM

and after all that Newt will still not be Mitt so he will get my vote.

unseen on January 26, 2012 at 12:30 PM

What’s the matter with Newt?! It’s loony for any candidate to be talking at this time about colonizing the moon. He seems to think he can spout any idea and seem visionary.

Chessplayer on January 26, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Maybe he can send his ex-wife there.

“To the moon, Alice Marianne!”

Ward Cleaver on January 26, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Bang! Zoom!

Ward Cleaver on January 26, 2012 at 12:54 PM

While going to the moon is cool and all, I have no idea why Newt isn’t talking about housing and foreclosures, the biggest issue for Floridians.

Romney is focusing on it, and I have to admit it was a brilliant move. It’s the reason why he’s ahead in the polls, IMHO.

Newt need to start talking about housing soon and take the initiative from Mitt on this, or else it’s over.

tkyang99 on January 26, 2012 at 1:26 PM

“How dare you. Did the Founders want to explore space? Did the Founders want to go to the Moon?”

One of those Founders elected, once he was President, to fund a large, expensive expedition to explore the Louisiana Purchase and the Oregon Territory. In fact, he funded a couple of other expeditions besides.

That’s pretty analogous to space exploration.

The_Jacobite on January 26, 2012 at 1:45 PM

BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! Sex on the moon. Yeah Newt, you’re sane.

You Newties are as loony as he is.

fight like a girl on January 26, 2012 at 2:02 PM

How about sending the bombastic barking bipolar buffoon himself to the moon?

VorDaj on January 26, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Herman Cain had the 9-9-9 plan, Newt Gingrich has Plan 9 From Outer Space. I don’t really see a problem here.

captn2fat on January 26, 2012 at 3:24 PM

The notion of exploring space, the power of the arts, it doesn’t surprise me that conservatives poo poo these lofty goals. When the goal is ensuring that there is a constant cheap source of labor to keep capitalism going why on earth would you want the government to pursue programs that encourage our youth to dream big. Want to be an astronaut little Jimmy, nah, we’re planning a nice service industry job for you! Sad, sad, state of affairs. Bravo Newt.

libfreeordie on January 26, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Government has NEVER encouraged youth to dream big… individuals do that… teachers, entrepreneurs, etc.

Government has only provided buckets of taxpayer money.

If anything Government contributes to mediocrity, never excellence. You can take a look at our educational ranking in the world, which falls the more that Government gets involved.

And by the way… I say that as a person where most of my relatives served in the public school system… from elementary teachers, to high school teachers, to principles, to deans of colleges. And they would agree with me!

dominigan on January 26, 2012 at 3:24 PM

One of those Founders elected, once he was President, to fund a large, expensive expedition to explore the Louisiana Purchase and the Oregon Territory. In fact, he funded a couple of other expeditions besides.

That’s pretty analogous to space exploration.

The_Jacobite on January 26, 2012 at 1:45 PM

YOU.HAVE.GOT.TO.BE.KIDDING.

Can you purchase the moon? Can individuals scrap together their space-age version of covered wagon and oxen, to travel to the moon and build their own homestead?

Wait. I know. From history… did the government fund the wagons and oxen, provide tools, transport them in safety with all the hazards? Did the settlers expect government to raid other people’s money to fund their move? REALLY?

dominigan on January 26, 2012 at 3:41 PM

I think moon colonies will be essential since the Dims and the rest of the lefties are going to need someplace to flee to someday. Why not send the lunatics to their ancestral home to become lunarians? As Ambrose Bierce defines in The Devil’s Dictionary: A lunarian is an inhabitant of the moon, whereas a lunatic is one whom the moon inhabits.

stukinIL4now on January 26, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Ground control to Major Tom.
Marcus Traianus on January 26, 2012 at 9:17 AM

Heh. Good’un.

captn2fat on January 26, 2012 at 3:53 PM

I don’t think gunpowder burns in a vacuum. Smith, Wesson, and Colt are mute on the moon.

I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation, actually. Newt’s a lunatic.

captn2fat on January 25, 2012 at 9:44 PM

America made a pen that can write in space. We will make a gun that can fire in space. Because we’re America, and we will spend millions to make things happen even when there are simpler solutions (like using pencil in the case of usable pens in space) because we are America, damnit!

BKennedy on January 26, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Wow, looks like Newt is really serious about cutting federal spending.

talkingpoints on January 26, 2012 at 5:00 PM

BKennedy on January 26, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Just to expand on this, the only thing more awesome that winning the space race is winning the space race, then rubbing it in the Russian’s faces with a letter written in space with aforementioned pen.

The first thing I want America’s Moon Colony to do is send the President up there to write a letter with an American made Space Pen filmed with American Space Film to all of our enemies (but especially the Russians and Chinese) informing them of the greatness of American ingenuity in extraterrestrial endeavors.

BKennedy on January 26, 2012 at 5:05 PM

My issue with Gingrich isn’t that the goal is unworthy — Ace does a nice job explaining the national-greatness appeal of big space programs to conservatives — but that message discipline on spending is desperately needed if the GOP is going to convince voters that our fiscal crisis is as dire as it is. How do you tell seniors that we need to start cutting Medicare if you’re busy telling space contractors to get cracking on moon igloos or whatever?

Yep.

Great idea in the long run. Very bad idea to bring up in a campaign with a bad economy and a huge national debt.

tom on January 26, 2012 at 9:04 PM

You put up a bunch of interesting prizes you’re going to have so many people showing up wanting to fly it’s going to be unbelievable,” Gingrich

Well, the government is $16trillion in debt, so what interesting prizes could we have?

The leg lamp from a Christmas Story
The decoder ring..V…O…T…E…F…O…R…N…E…W…T
The ceramic dog from Let’s Make a Deal
A chia pet
Your choice of 5 crates from the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark
Signed copies of Newt’s collected works
A star named for you
The Capitol building named for you
The use of the White House as a vacation residence

If a high speed rail line covering part of California, built using existing technology, on earth, without the environmental and transportation difficulties involved in building something on the moon will cost $100,000,000,000, how many trillion dollars would something like a moon station cost? How many tens of thousands of dollars would each child owe for their inspiration? This is clearly beyond any private individual or corporation. The government is already so far in debt we are destroying the country’s future and our children’s future. His proposal shows that he has no concept of fiscal responsibility.

talkingpoints on January 26, 2012 at 9:16 PM

So Mitt can’t have a change of mind/heart regarding policy, but Newt can regarding Adultery? Which is the bigger sin? Which is the bigger stretch to believe someone has changed with their self?

Rockshine on January 26, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Liberalism is the greater sin. Adultery may destroy a marriage or even a family. Liberalism destroys nations.

trigon on January 27, 2012 at 2:10 AM

Kaffa on January 25, 2012 at 11:01 PM

Space has a military and strategic component, absolutely. It is criminal that Obama has so emasculated it. What has made such a big difference to us in our Iraq & Afghan conflicts? Air superiority. That’s something that the Taliban/AQ/Saddam didn’t have and we do. I had a friend with ties in the space industry tell me the Chinese have been buying our cast offs for years, just as they bought an incomplete carrier from Ukraine since they don’t have one. Space is an eve bigger advantage, and several people here have already explained the rare ‘earth’ metals that we would have access to that are lacking naturally on earth (which the Chinese are ALSO buying up with all the dollars we send them for the crap they make for us).

So there is a military/defence aspect to space, and general scientic, medical, economic and techological advancement opportunities, (as well as possibly saving mankind), and WE HAVE ALREADY VISITED THE MOON. This isn’t something impossible; just this time around we would do it with the idea of a permanent base, which would be a stepping stone for future bases elsewhere. There are so many resources in space, and so much wealth.

We spend more on fraud in welfare programmes per year than we do on the space programme. We give more money to illegals and fraudsters each year BY FAR (nearly double), than we spend on space related activities.

linlithgow on January 27, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Jerry Pournelle would say, “Prizes” not programs.

Prizes because until someone meets the prize requirements you don’t have to shell out anything. Anybody can compete for the prize with their own resources so they will look at what works best for their concept. I am not going to cover all possible contigencies like the obivous one — whether the prize winner has a totally exclusive right to the tech they developed.

Programs cost from startup to finish (if it ever does end), even if it does not attain the goals. There is an inbuilt limitation that you cannot have multiple different approaches to a problem, eventually the program will have to pick one, for better or for worse. Programs are also subject to their source of funding. I understand that the Shuttle program was scaled back from ambitious concepts to what could be afforded.

Russ808 on January 27, 2012 at 3:19 PM

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