Monday, October 14, 2013

Word for the Week: "Blamestorming"

Megan McArdle's discussion of the NYT's dissection of the problems faced by the Obamacare websites:

Obamacare Needs a Drop-Dead Date - Bloomberg: "This is stunning. It’s far worse than I imagined, and I am pretty cynical. The law’s supporters are engaged in some high-speed blamestorming: It’s the Republicans' fault for not giving the law more money, or it’s the fault of Republican governors who didn’t build their exchanges, or maybe it’s one of the vendors -- CGI, the firm with the largest contract, is the most favored target, but at various times, the administration has clearly been teeing up to blame Experian or Oracle. Or perhaps the fault lies in federal procurement rules, which prevented the government from getting the right kind of staff and service. A lot of that shows up in the article; there’s a long prelude about the political barriers that the administration faced. But ultimately, the litany of mistakes that the administration made overwhelms these complaints."
The interesting thing is that the NYT's is only now doing this reporting. The article details the near panic among the people involved going back years but it is only after the "rollout" that we hear about all this. It is more evidence that in the long run having the press on your side is not good for you: it hides bad news from you so that you are blindsided when the bad news actually happens. Republicans worried about the bad press they are getting during the last two weeks over the shutdown should take note: it might be a blessing in disguise. As the thing goes a cropper it might be to the Republican's advantage to have been so identified with a last ditch effort to stop Obamacare.

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