experience is a wonderful thing.....
I've recently read that McCain is 70-something, which is supposed to stand in his favour in politics;
I don't know how old Putin is, and given the way he rose to power, he's been there for a long time, too;
Both of these lads are either old enough to have been active during the Cold War or have been influenced by it.....the middle of which is when NASA was created. With some people, the old ways are best because they're familiar, especially when the world changes around the people who don't like the new.
Trouble is, we now need new ways of thinking because all the change that we're creating with our consumptive habits and technology are going to leave us a bit short on the energy/power-supply side.....and we need to adapt to that before we're forced into it.
The ISS is the only space-based facility that the world has right now, and the shuttle-fleet is at least ten years past its sell-by date (never mind being a huge compromise on the original craft-design in the first place).
Given this context, there's hardly a surprise that politics may get stroppy about who's going to service the stations' crews or the station itself.