Conservatism unleashed has proven skilled in exactly two things, in government: coming up with creative rationales for ignoring existing law or gutting its intent or enforcement, and at staffing every nook and cranny of government with more conservative cronies. It is superb at the machinery of destruction; it has never built a single thing, and mocks the very premise.
I just finished Thomas Frank's new book, The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule, and Frank says that this is the very heart of the matter.
The premise of contemporary conservatism is that government doesn't work; the response to Katrina was, from this perspective, "good" because it "proved" that government is ineffective.
Peel away the cynicism and Christianist pandering, and you discover that contemporary Republicanism has become the enactment of the belief that governments only purpose is to help rich people make money, and protect the interests of the powerful; anything that interferes with that agenda must be defunded and destroyed.
I highly recommend Frank's book.