The old saying goes: Common sense often times ain't so common. The recent choice of John McAfee to help remedy the Healthcare.gov technological meltdown confirms this truth.
The rollout of the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges have been nothing short of a political disaster, primarily due to technical errors and infrastructural breakdowns. Still, it was surprising when the committee responsible for overseeing the ACA announced it was seeking expert guidance from McAfee, a computer security specialist and a one-time murder suspect.
While the glitchy launch of Healthcare.gov has presented the Republican Party with a minor political victory, they seem to be returning the Dems the favor by enlisting a man who once turned fugitive in Central America after he was accused of killing his neighbor.
The initial political fallout from the ACA launch has been pretty comprehensive as tech experts and politicians from both sides of the aisle have called out Health and Human Services and the Obama administration for ineptitude. But instead of capitalizing on this stumble, the Republicans have made a misstep of their own. With such a large selection of respected tech experts to choose from, and likely many with clean rap sheets, why did the GOP choose a once-suspected murderer?
The selection of McAfee is all the more strange considering how much the Republicans need good press right now. The government shutdown hurt the GOP politically, as many polls indicate. The 2014 elections are inching closer, and political messaging is ratcheting up. According to the Cook Report, the shutdown may have put 15 Republican House seats in play. Common sense would indicate that the party would be wary of political screw-ups, with a knack for going the meticulous route.