Does the FAA completely miss the point? It's not whether he deserves disciplinary action. It's whether he is fit to fly.
It's not universal, but the general feeling in the aviation community is that this was a good outcome.
The FAA has had a general move towards corrective rather than punitive action for inadvertent mistakes. I'm sure they did look closely at his abilities and treated him as they would have any run-of-the mill pilot.
NASA developed an Aviation Safety Reporting System where a pilot can send in an untraceable report of actions and situations that could aid in safety. I'll dig up a link and you can see some examples. Filing one of these renders the pilot immune from enforcement action, with certain limitations. I don't know if Ford filed one here, but I would have in his situation.
As an aside, to date I've filed just one - I misread airspace warnings on my GPS and found myself within the airspace of an Air Force base near Little Rock, AR and not talking with the tower. Never heard anything back about it - like Ford, admitting the mistake and explaining the circumstances around it can help a lot.
Here's that link, with reports grouped into topics:https://asrs.arc.nasa.gov/search/reportsets.html