"It's worse than you think."
Yeah, I had to pull out the Serenity quote one last time for the ObamaCare train wreck, this time because of a devastating (and lengthy) Megan McArdle column detailing pretty much every failure every step of the way. It almost goes without saying that there were nearly as many mistakes, bad decisions, suboptimal politicalizaion as there were steps -- but this bit stands out from the rest:
Obamacare’s biggest problem, as I have written, was that the architects of the law demanded an enormously ambitious software project on an impossibly hubristic deadline. Whatever slim chance this had of working was ultimately doomed -- not by Republicans, but by the administration’s own paranoid and self-destructive decisions to manage a software project as if it were a top-secret campaign strategy rather than a mission-critical component of the most ambitious federal entitlement expansion in almost 50 years.
Remember that when Cutler wrote that devastating memo, Democrats still had control of both houses of Congress. The administration failed to rectify the shortcomings he identified because it did not understand that making a program happen is very different from writing out a description of it.
This thing that captured McArdle's attention for two paragraphs, this mistaking written policy for cold reality, is nothing new with this Administration. We're merely finding out, over three years later, about a particularly bullheaded instance of it.
Think of how we stumbled into Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom's Great Syrian Misadventure: He made a strong statement about a red line, then took none of the steps necessary to make it a reality. He didn't put together a coalition, he didn't forward deeply assets, nothing. Wiggleroom made a statement and just kind of assumed reality would bend to his will.
On unemployment, Wiggleroom had been assured by his Keynesian-minded advisors that spending a crapload of money would bring the jobs back. So he asked for Congress to spend those craploads of money, put Joe Biden (!!!) in charge of making sure it all went out the door in an orderly fashion (cough, cough) then turned his attention to health care. The jobs never came back. Neither, really, did Wiggleroom's attention. His own jobs council died of neglect.
The Middle East? They'll like us if we apologize and go into retreat. We did; they didn't.
If Wiggleroom turned over financial reform to Wall Street's creatures in the Senate, the resulting legislation would end Too Big To Fail. Instead, Dodd-Frank enshrined it. This one however might be more of a feature than a bug, even to Wiggleroom.
Saying nice things about privacy, legality, and civil liberties would rein in the NSA. Um... no.
I could go on -- but why? It's clear that the Professor believes that speechifying and fundraising make a president great, and the rest is just details to be handled by underlings who are almost never held accountable for their failures. For his failures, really.
It's been said that Obama has a reverse Midas touch -- A Merde touch, if you will. Everything he touches turns to... you know. But it's worse than that. We see the steaming pile; he sees a glimmering bar of gold.