I guess it is no surprise that I agree with Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame who wrote in his USA Today column that Bad Managers Ruined Obamacare. Engineers respect the consequences that the Mythical Man Month is probably a fact of life you cannot skirt around. Politicians ignore it at their own peril.
All appearances to the contrary, the managers involved in this debacle aren’t dumb. But they come from a background — law and politics — where arguments often take the place of reality, and plausibility can be as good as, or better than, truth.
What engineers know that lawyers and politicians often don’t is that in the world of things, as opposed to people, there’s no escaping the sharp teeth of reality. But in law, and especially politics, inconvenient facts are merely inconvenient, something to be rationalized away.
When our country has accomplished great things in the past, there has usually been a great engineer running the program: Hyman Rickover with the nuclear submarine program, or Wernher von Braun with the Apollo space program, for example. Rickover and von Braun were famously stern taskmasters, but they did not substitute wishes for reality.
Which may be why they were able to launch submarines, and rockets that astounded the world. While today, we can’t even launch a website.