If we want NASA to be inspiring, we cannot take shortcuts on human spaceflight. We cannot have it both ways—it's one or the other. I don't understand where the inspirational component will come from in the new NASA direction. While the Constellation program may have been lacking in innovation, it was at least a plan with concrete goals. At least it involved sending humans beyond low Earth orbit. And at least it was something to build off of. The new plan seems little more than a set of vague references to future missions. When are they going to happen? What milestones will serve to coordinate NASA's efforts? Just because Charles Bolden uses adjectives like "bold" and "ambitious" doesn't mean NASA's activities are either.
There are some of us out here who want to see humans physically orbiting other stars. Not in our lifetime, but we want to be a part of that effort. Exploration is an end in itself. We want to get started on this journey and see evidence of our progress. In our lifetimes, we want to see humans fly through the Solar System and colonize other worlds. We want to see them establish interplanetary commerce and create new ways of life. Sooner or later kids realize whether the achievements of adults match their rhetoric. So reaching for the stars is not just a metaphor.