Organizational Incompetence


There’s a bit of a buzz about a significant portion of the crowd walking out on a speech by Barack Obama yesterday. While people walking out on the President of the United States is, and should be, news, it may not be the important part of the story.

The event where the President spoke was a campaign rally for Anthony Brown, the Democrats’ candidate for governor of Maryland. Last night, I happened to meet a young person who had been a volunteer campaign worker at the rally. The event had been disorganized, and the level of mismanagement soured that volunteer on politics. The volunteer bitterly expressed a desire not to get involved again.

Given that one of the main campaign issues that Brown faces is his mismanagement of Maryland’s disastrous rollout of its Obamacare website, a disorganized high-profile campaign event reinforces the impression that Brown is a lightweight bumbler.

In a couple of weeks, we will find out if that will be enough to overcome the Democrats’ registration advantage in Baltimore, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and their cemeteries.

Obamacare 0.997


The version of Obamacare that was rolled out on 1 October was clearly not ready for prime time. It wasn’t even ready for beta release. It was simply a failure.

Good engineers design for failure. That’s not to say that we (I’m an engineer) design products to fail, but we know that they will. That’s why the load panel in your house has circuit breakers. In the real world, failure is always an option, and it becomes exponentially more likely when a project is managed by someone who doesn’t understand the endeavor’s practical constraints. Clay Shirky offers an analysis of the probable managerially-driven problems with Obamacare here.

Recently, much has been made about the Administration’s ignoring the law when dealing with Obamacare and any possible workarounds for its present problems, and it’s true that those responsible for the current mess have acted lawlessly. However, the law that will do the project in was not passed by Congress. It stems from a higher authority. Those who ignore it are fools.

If anything can go wrong, it will.

—Murphy

Let it burn.

UPDATE—This insightful observation is also on point:

Everything the government touches turns to crap.

—Ringo Starr