Unfortunately, good programs work, bad ones don't. Policies and goals are worthless if they don't give the desired results. Your friend is believing rhetoric and you are looking at the worst of reality. The question for you: is what you see normal or an aberration?
In my opinion, the Dems are great at identifying problems, but terrible with solutions. The GOP does better with solutions - IF you can ever get their attention.
Finally, any improvement is better than fighting for everything possible and getting nothing. That is the core of the current problem for both sides.