Some time ago on this site we suggested that things had gotten pretty scary in the world. We should have known when we were well off.

Since then, we’ve had an explosion in ebola, the rise of ISIS, Putin’s rearmament, and a series of events in the federal mechanism that suggest we may have crossed some indefinable line between bureaucratic ineptitude and outright incompetence. The Secret Service needs “to be more like Disney?” Who did she think she was guarding? Mickey?

We are starting to feel like Yogi Berra with the first-year Mets: “Can’t anybody here play this game?”

The ebola problem raises so many questions we don’t even know where to start. The inspector general of the CDC recently declared that the agency was completely unprepared for any kind of pandemic, citing everything from expired and insufficient stocks of available medications to the general lassitude of the entire organization. I am sure, however, that it is on target for meeting objectives for diversity.

The protocols for defending against diseases like ebola rely heavily on the hilarious concept that people fleeing a killer virus will be open and forthcoming about their situations. And — even when they are — hospitals seem ill-advised on red flags. Yes, you might be angry that the Texas patient did not say outright “Hey! A week or so ago I carried a woman who subsequently died of ebola in my arms, and I might be wearing the same clothes.” But please: didn’t anyone say “You know, this guy has a funny accent?”

When you run a farm, you know certain things have to be done, or everything goes to hell. If you focus on washing down the tractors so they are all bright and shiny, maybe the fields don’t get plowed on time.

This administration has been too focused on chrome and not at all on grit. It worries obsessively about how it looks, as opposed to how it works. It confuses noble intentions with effective programs. It’s been that way for almost six years now.

No wonder things are coming apart at the seams. Time to get back to basics. Maybe it takes a pandemic to get that thought across. When millions die because someone thinks form is more important than function, people wise up quickly.