I think you may be confusing a couple of issues as if they were one. Let me try to separate them out.
It sounds like the SE servers that host this site may have been having an issue as some point yesterday that kicked the entire site into read-only mode for a few minutes. Of course anything you make have tried during that window may have failed.
I suspect, however, that you are thinking of another issue:
This site works on a system of incremental privileges. As you earn reputation points for quality contributions you will earn more and more privileges on this site. That being said it does not require any reputation to either ask or answer questions. Everybody, yourself included, starts out at 1 rep and if you review the privilege chart you well see last item shows that 1 rep is all you need to ask or answer.
Commenting, on the other hand, requires at least 50 reputation points. You can actually comment on your own questions or answers at any time even starting out at 1 rep, but commenting on other people's posts takes a little bit more. 50 rep is not really that hard to earn if you are interested in the subject (just a couple decent questions or answers will get you there) and this keeps the system from flooding with rubbish comments from passers-by who aren't really interested in the subject matter so much as ridiculing it or whatever.
This is also a subtle nod to the fact that comments are second class citizens in the SE ecosystem. All SE sites are focused on the business of questions and answers and we really want the energy going into those, not into discussing things as tends to happen in comments.
I hope this helps you understand just a little more about how this site works. I realize it's different than most sites on the net and works differently than a forum, but the signal-to-noise ratio resulting from these differences is well worth it!