It's not competence, it's ideology
One of the greatest tragedies of the Democrats focusing on "service and competent management" is that strategically, it is a disaster. Think about it for a minute: if we avoid the core issue -- a conservative philosophy that has led to all these catastrophes, from Iraq to Katrina to the fiasco around medical care -- then each fight we fight is a single fight, each battle is a single battle. Rather, we must attack the philosophy that is behind all of this, which is a conservative philosophy in control of the legislature, the courts and the presidency.
To focus on "service and competent management" allows conservatives to simply make the argument, "Well, we will replace these managers with more competent managers." And remember: we are not going to have Bush to run against much longer. In the '06 elections, if we stick with this idea of "service and competent management," then each candidate can argue he or she will be more competent and provide better service. We wouldn't be tying them to failed conservative policy and practic. It is a disaster, in that it fails to nationalize the election and and allows conservatives to run and hide from the fact that they have the presidency, they have the courts, and they are doing just what they said they would do.
It is not competence, it is ideology. We see it in Iraq, we see it in the Katrina response, and we see it every day in the lives of American citizens -- and in the price that we are all paying for conservatives and their corrupt cronies.