You Didn't Build That!

Once upon a time, the President made a speech belittling business owners, the people who create the real wealth in our country.  He was appealing to his rabid, emptyheaded base, in the hope that their stupidity and everyone else’s apathy would be enough to turn the tide of the election.  Sherman, turn the Way-Back Machine to 2012 and let’s have a look at what the President said:

     If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

Such stunning arrogance is not encountered every day, at least by those of us not employed by the Obama family. The story made national news, and many of us thought that it would be enough to sink the Obama campaign.  Someone should have pointed out to the President that “The Internet” isn’t a single thing, but a combination of many different technologies,  all brought together for the purpose of enabling people to communicate more effectively with each other, a tool which led to a completely new industry, created new markets and billions of dollars in new wealth. Government research might have helped establish the foundation the internet was built on, but that’s as far as it went. If my memory serves, that government research he was talking about was done by the Department of Defense, which means that the government didn’t create the internet so companies could make money. It “created the internet” so we could bomb our enemies more effectively.  But Obama took credit for it, and somehow, apathy and stupidity won the day.

The First Tech President was returned to office, where, under his expert guidance and eagle eye, the same government who brought you the miracle of the internet worked feverishly around the clock to bring the unwashed masses another world-changing innovation- Healthcare.gov. We know how that has turned out.  The government technology wizards fashioned a website so astonishingly bad that even the Director of Health and Human Services refers to it as a “debacle.”

Today, we learn that the Wizards who Invented the Internet have called in the people who Didn’t Build That to fix their unholy mess:

“As part of the ‘Tech Surge,’ we’ve added key personnel from the government and private sector, including expert engineers and technology managers,” Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said.

Among those rushing to the rescue is Michael Dickerson, a site reliability engineer from Google, and Greg Gershman, the innovation director for smartphone application maker Mobomo.

We can gloss over the irony of calling in the parasites who swooped in to make money on the government’s amazing discovery and focus on what is most important. By calling in the private sector to fix a government debacle, the President has tacitly admitted that when he wanted to actually solve a real-world problem, government wasn’t up to the task. If the government can’t create a website on an internet it supposedly created, how can it be expected to administer a vast swath of the American economy?

I think that with the private sector’s help, Healthcare.gov will probably begin to run smoothly.  When that happens, the President will take credit for it, with gleeful assistance from his friends in the press pool. But conservatives should keep reminding him that when he and his big-government cronies had the chance to build that, they failed on a scale that can only be perpetrated by an organization backed by a nuclear arsenal.

Isn’t that a cheery thought?