Today on Fox News Sunday, Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol said that conservatives have come to believe the Bush administration is incompetent:
BILL KRISTOL: I think it’s become in people’s minds an emblem of the administration that just isn’t as serious about the competent execution of the functions of government as it should be. And even — I’m struck talking to conservatives and Republicans — they agree with the president on basic political philosophy, the they agree with his basic policy agenda, but they are worried that they just don’t seem to be able to execute as well as they should be.
Kristol is right, and it’s a dynamic that makes policy debates almost irrelevant. Even if the administration were to stumble onto a policy that would improve things, it’s highly unlikely the people in charge would be able to execute the policy effectively.