I think anyone who has worked on the Hill or in the White House has to chuckle a little at conspiracy theories about Washington. The fact is, no one around here, in either party and on either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, has nearly the information, ability, or competence to pull off any kind of complex four-steps-ahead type maneuver, and the system works in a way that makes it pretty much impossible to seriously try. Most of the time, people are barely managing to keep their heads above water amidst the rush of events and to respond to the latest unexpected and ridiculous screwup. — Yuval Levin

This, of course, one of the the saving graces of the American system.