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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

An Executive Without Energy -- By William A. Galston, The Wall Street Journal


Responsibility for the mismanaged ObamaCare rollout lies in the Oval Office. 

On Jan. 28, 1986, over the objections of engineers who described a high probability of catastrophic failure, senior NASA managers authorized the launch of the Challenger. The shuttle exploded 73 seconds into its flight.

In the last week of September 2013, a "pre-flight checklist" indicated that 41 of the 91 Healthcare.gov functions for which a key contractor was responsible were not working. Another checklist prepared a week later showed serious, and in five cases critical, defects in functions previously categorized as working. Nonetheless, the website was launched on Oct. 1 and failed almost immediately.

These episodes have a common feature: In both, the pressure to meet deadlines overrode evidence that screamed for delay. But there is a key difference. President Reagan memorably eulogized those who died when the Challenger disintegrated, but he bore no responsibility for the disaster. The Affordable Care Act, by contrast, is President Obama's signature legislative achievement, and the trail of responsibility for its botched rollout ends at the Oval Office.

Over the past century, we have come to see the presidency as the principal source of the legislative agenda that Congress considers, and we tend to regard the enactment of the president's program as the key test of his efficacy. In the process, we have played down the importance of presidential management. The travails of the Affordable Care Act have reminded us that this understanding of the presidency is distorted—and reflects a neglectful reading of the Constitution.

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