f we had KSC MSFC haters in the 1960s like we do today...
We DID. Why do you think they cancelled the last three Apollo flights?
And that, more than anything, is why I don't believe anymore that NASA has a place in space exploration. It's not just the money, it's the political will, the oversight, the prestige, the reputation. NASA is no longer a space exploration agency, and it arguably never was. NASA is and basically always has been a useful tool used by politicians to ingratiate themselves with the voters. The only way NASA gets anything done at all is to convince congressmen that space exploration is politically expedient.
The problem is, ninety percent of the time, its ISN'T politically expedient; Kay Bailey Hutchinson gains the same amount of political capital if KSC builds ten SLS stacks and then immediately donates them to museums (probably more so than launching them, actually, if they pick the right museums). And the space shuttle only existed for as long as it did because Tom DeLay thought it was real important that NASA not replace the STS with something that didn't keep jobs in HIS congressional district -- thus the related problem today. We just don't have the kind of government that thinks space exploration is an important thing in its own right, and therefore they only give it serious support when it is fashionable to do so.
That's what happened to Apollo, after all: we beat the russians to the moon and the public immediately lost interest. NASA had to fight it out with Congress just to get 15 through 17, and the government cancelled the last three flights simply because they were bored with it.