Now that the public discussion of the Columbia disaster seems to have abated, I would like to point out that very, very few people used this as an opportunity to try to dismantle the space program. The vast majority used it as an opportunity to re-affirm our national commitment to space.
Even the starry-eyed "Let's [magically] solve all the problems on Earth before spending anything on space" contingent was quieter then usual. I wasn't very old during the Challenger disaster but I seem to remember a lot more fear and resistence then this prompted. (Perhaps Challenger prepared us for this a bit more?)
Now, the real question is will NASA and the Federal Government back off of space flight as they did after Challenger, despite overwhelming public support? I gotta say, given the amount of spine the average politician and NASA administrator possesses, my best guess is still "Yes." They'll simply assume that this will freak out America and back off, despite the fact that's not what we want.
I often wonder how we survive as a species when the net IQ drops as a group grows in size.