With the news that the confirmation of Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Oklahoma as NASA administrator is imminent, the Left has gone into panic mode. RL Miller, the chair of the California Democratic Environmental Caucus, has demanded a last-minute push to head off the conservative congressman’s confirmation. Miller accuses Bridenstine of being a “bigot” for his past opposition to same-sex marriage, similar to the stance once taken by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Miller also objects to Bridenstine for his past skepticism expressed about climate change.

On the other hand, even California Jerry Brown is alleged to have once labeled Miller a “political terrorist” for his extremism as the environmental activist earlier noted in a tweet last year.

The impasse appears to have broken

As Ars Technica and other media outlets noted, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed for cloture to shut off debate on the Bridenstine nomination Monday night. The same article reported that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, who once echoed Democratic skepticism about Bridenstine, has now pledged his support.

Rumor abound of one or two Democrats, perhaps Joe Manchin of West Virginia or Doug Jones of Alabama may have flipped as well. On the other hand, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine is said to support cloture but is “undecided” on final confirmation.

The most extended fight for the confirmation of a NASA head in history

Ever since Bridenstine was nominated in September, he has been the subject of an unprecedented campaign of vilification from senate democrats led by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida.

The confirmation hearings held by the Senate Commerce Committee featured a tag team of Democrats who attacked Bridenstine’s politics and even his character.

Nelson claimed that his main objection was that the congressman is a politician and not a technical person. Bridenstine is a naval aviator who has flown combat missions over Afghanistan and Iraq and has been an F-18 instructor.

Also, two of the most successful NASA administrators, James Webb and Sean O’Keefe, were also not scientists or engineers.

Despite widespread support from scientists, commercial space players, some House Democrats, and even Apollo moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, Bridenstine’s nomination has been in limbo due to total opposition by Senate Democrats and Rubio. However, with the impending resignation of NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot, the space agency was faced with a horrendous leadership crisis.

If, as now many expect, Bridenstine is confirmed, he will be installed as a young, reformist administrator who is in line with the current push back to the moon using commercial partnerships. The congressman has a big job ahead of him, but his perseverance during the extended confirmation fight creates hope that he is more than up to the task.