Editorial: Punch line aside, we look vulnerable
When bombastic rhetoric is done, smart leaders inside the Beltway will do us all a favor and declare the nation’s new health-care website not only up and running, but highly resistant to hackers akin to all of our cyberspace.
Smart people say, first things first. And they would be correct.
Two stories making the rounds are not yet linked. We’re in trouble if they do hook up.
The obvious is the massive failure of the government to launch healthcare.gov, the story where Republicans are seeing trees, not the forest.
Beaten and whipped several times over in trying to defeat the Affordable Care Act, they have — for the moment — set their sights on Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary for Health and Human Services. They want her job to serve as payment for what they couldn’t defund.
We certainly agree with Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the Republican who said the “incompetence in building this website is staggering.” And Sebelius and Barack Obama are ultimately responsible. Democrats’ cries that it just needs to get up and running and can then be fixed scares us as much or more than Nancy Pelosi’s “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
Removing Sebelius is nothing more than a short-term gain. Republicans need long-term solutions, like fixing their fractured party. It began getting chipped in mid-September of 2001, right after President Bush’s ratings went soaring for the response to the terrorist attacks on the U.S. We keep expecting them to bottom out and unite.
Right behind the spooky factor of Pelosi’s comment and the non-creation of a website by Sebelius’ team is news out of Israel. Its national road network was shut down by a cyberattack. And it happened two days in a row.
That’s not just a warning to our government putting millions of health-care eggs in a basket online. It is a warning to all of us about the Internet we depend on daily in more places than health care, one we take for granted about like we do electricity.
The punch line is if we can’t get into healthcare.gov, how can anyone else?
But we should worry. Our government is more than a joke to other nations. We’re a target. And we’re looking quite vulnerable about now.