Rich Galen

I am more than a little irritated that the Congressional Republicans have allowed the nation's attention to be switched from Senator Ted Cruz and the House Cruzettes back to the astonishing incompetence of the Administration of President Barack Obama.

It was just a week ago when the whole country - including me - was weeping and wailing over the biggest windmill tilt in the nearly 400 years since the publication of Volume II of Don Quxiote as House and to a lesser extend Senate Republicans insisted on defunding ObamaCare as the price for fully reopening the Federal government.

But, let's don't start that again.

Since the Senate and then the House passed what is known as a Continuing Resolution (that was more-or-less what was on the table before the whole shut-down thing started) we have had the opportunity to actually watch the grand opening of the Affordable Care Act - ObamaCare.

And, to use the official - often pompous - language of the Broadway stage: "It's a stinker."

You've read all the coverage about how people from Seattle to Miami have been frustrated in their attempts to register on-line.

About how the White House first denied there were any problems, then inferred that the problems were due to the billions of Americans so eager for ObamaCare they crashed the site; then referred all questions to the Department of Health and Human Services; and then deferred to people who knew what they were talking about as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney walked away from the podium earlier this week.

You're well-aware of the nearly half-billion dollars that was spent on building the on-line system and how HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was too busy to attend a Congressional hearing until someone got a gander at her schedule that showed she had time to attend a mental health reception in Boston.

You may not be as aware of a statement the Secretary made to CNN's Sanjay Gupta (who was considered for the position of U.S. Surgeon General and thus would have been working for Ms. Sebelius). She said:

"If we had an ideal situation and could have built the product in, you know, a five-year period of time, we probably would have taken five years. But we didn't have five years."

As Ross Perot is reported to have said to the General Motors board of directors (of which he was, briefly, a member) when told it took five years from concept to showroom for a new car:

"It takes five years to develop a new car in this country. Heck, we won World War II in four years."

I worked for Electronic Data Systems - EDS - after Perot had left, but the engineers had a saying about major new software systems:

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at