Joe Nocera for The New York Times: Obama’s Bay of Pigs

November 22nd, 2013

The New York Times
by Joe Nocera
November 22, 2013

This week, when we are remembering John F. Kennedy, I’d like to touch briefly on the greatest fiasco of his presidency: the Bay of Pigs invasion. No sooner had Kennedy taken the oath of office than he discovered that the Pentagon and C.I.A. were preparing to send 1,500 Cuban exiles to invade Cuba. Though they would be greatly outnumbered by Cuban troops, the American military and the C.I.A. assumed that once the attack began, the Cuban people would rise up and overthrow Fidel Castro.

Kennedy was privately skeptical, but he didn’t yet have the confidence in his own judgment to override the experts he was surrounded by. So he gave the go-ahead — only to discover that the experts didn’t know what they were talking about. The exiles were quickly routed, America was humiliated and Kennedy was left to take the blame.

So far, at least, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has been President Obama’s Bay of Pigs. Led to believe that the preparation for Obamacare was on track, Obama was blindsided when that turned out not to be the case. The website where people are supposed to enroll,, is a train wreck. People with individual policies saw that they were set to be canceled — and then couldn’t enroll in Obamacare because the website had collapsed. In other cases, people discovered that even the least expensive plan available to them under Obamacare cost more than their old plan. And on and on.

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