If Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Halberstam were still alive, he’d either chuckle or gasp at the use of the title of his 1972 book about the “whiz kids”: Robert McNamara, Dean Rusk, McGeorge Bundy, William Westmoreland, and the other star businessmen academics, military leaders, and intellectuals whose boneheaded advice to President Kennedy and then to President Johnson helped to mire the U.S. in the Vietnam War and destroy LBJ’s presidency.

Halberstam asked — as quoted in a New Yorker “Talk of the Town” section soon after his death — “The basic question behind the book was why men who were said to be the ablest ... [of] this century had been the architects of what struck me as likely to be the worst tragedy since the Civil War.”

The swarms of bugs attacking the Affordable Care Act portal are not exactly a tragedy akin to Vietnam or the Civil War. But it is, as I write today, a terrible disappointment to the uninsured and sick and unemployed who can’t make it through to order up some peace of mind and security.