Well, the Atlantis is in a hangar in Cape Canaveral now. Waiting for a place to sit and tell the world "This is what we once were". I'm not going to recap the entire history of NASA. It's well documented by others more worthy and less opinionated than myself. But I will say this. We, as a nation, have not only renounced our direct access to human space, but have mangled our only civilian public standing.
NASA won't self destruct. But if it isn't a frail shell of it's former self within the ten years that was supposed to be the initialization of the Constellation program, I'll be totally floored. At that point, congress would be doing a mercy killing to shut down the agency. Of course in ten years, who is to say that the US Federal Government will still be around?