President Obama has no concept of accountability. His minions know that no matter what they do, they're never going to suffer consequences for their mistakes, no matter how grievous or embarrassing. Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services, presides over the biggest flop the Internet has seen since Al Gore invented it. White House press secretary Jay Carney says Mrs. Sebelius, despite spending $634 million on the Obamacare website disaster, still has the president's "full confidence."
Mr. Carney's predecessor, Robert Gibbs, now that he no longer has to say things he doesn't believe and can speak for himself, disagrees. Mr. Gibbs characterized the rollout of the health care takeover as "excruciatingly embarrassing." He told MSNBC that it was "bungled badly." Would-be Obamacare enrollees and curiosity-seekers alike have encountered technical malfunctions, including error messages and crashed pages, when they tried to log on to healthcare.gov. The initial "traffic jam" explanation — that it was simply the happy crush of eager enrollees all trying to sign up at once — was abandoned in the face of complaints that even attempts to log on in the wee hours of the morning failed.
The president likens the opening of the Obamacare exchanges to glitches that Apple encounters when it introduces a new operating system for its cellphones and electronic tablets. "I don't remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads," the president protested, "or threatening to shut down the company if they didn't."
In the real world where the rest of us live, even a good job performance gets a CEO sacked if performance doesn't measure up to the expectations of stockholders. Bill Gates, the chairman of highly profitable Microsoft, feels the breath of stockholder dissatisfaction on his neck over the company's recent performance. Three major investors are pressing the Microsoft board of directors to dismiss Mr. Gates, who co-founded Microsoft in 1975 and has presided over piling up heaps of profits.
Software problems can be fixed with enough time, money and effort. But people can die as a result of muddled policy, and Mr. Obama, perhaps remembering his community activism when nobody was responsible for anything but more talk, still refuses to fire anyone. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is still on the job after the botched Fast and Furious gunrunning operation sent thousands of guns to Mexican drug gangs. One of these weapons killed U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Hillary Clinton "took responsibility" for the slaying of four Americans, including the ambassador, at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, but "took responsibility" were mere words. Mr. Obama didn't cashier anyone.
We can do better than that. He must do better than that. If he can't bring himself to dismiss Mrs. Sebelius, he could invite her to return home to Kansas to "pursue other opportunities" where she could "spend more time with her family." He's for families, isn't he?