Vol. 2, Issue 2, January 13, 2004
Democratic Hopeful Kucinich Wants to Recall Mars Rovers
The presidential campaign of Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich has been nothing if not fiercely individualistic - spiritually, culturally and even politically - compared to the rest of his Democratic presidential rivals.
Kucinich takes issue with all of his Democratic rivals, saying he's the only candidate who wants to immediately end not just the Iraqi occupation, but all American occupations, including its missions on Mars, immediately.
"I'm saying we should bring the Mars rovers home as soon as possible," he said. "We'll send United Nations rovers instead and bring our robots home within 90 days. It's the only ethical thing to do." He brushed aside the fact that the United Nations does not currently possess interplanetary rovers, or the means to launch anything into space, as "besides the point."
Frontrunner Howard Dean, Kucinich told Iowa audiences last week, is for "continuing the Mars occupation."
Kucinich has previously expressed a strong desire to end conflicts on Earth, such as the Iraqi occupation, as soon as possible; but this is the first time he has expressed an opinion about the Space Program or the American presence on other planets. His comments come at a time when the White House is outlining a broader, more ambitious direction for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) leading to an established moon base and eventually manned missions to Mars.
"We really think this is typical of the Democratic party," said White House spokesperson Scott McClellan. "The only reason Kucinich is against rovers is because of Karl. I'm surprised, actually, that someone so liberal would want to pull out of such a red planet."
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated earlier today that the United Nations has no actual interest in conducting interplanetary space exploration, although the UN would happily accept donations of "any spacecraft which any nations might wish to donate." Belgium promptly donated three weather satellites which are "mostly operational" and a small model of the Apollo 7 purchased in a gift shop.
It is unclear whether Kucinich's bold statements will endear him to American voters, a large majority of which strongly support the space program and have been enthralled with the panoramic pictures beamed back to Earth in recent days.
"Well, I'll tell you one thing," said President Bush. "You can't spell United States of America without Mars. And you can't spell Kucinich however hard you try. So think about it."