Dafydd over at Big Lizards wrote one of the better posts I've seen from him yet.
...In late 2002-early 2003, the Left constructed a fantasy narrative, where our intention was to invade Iraq and steal its oil ("blood for oil"); this would of course require making it a permanent colony of Imperial America, like the English raj in India. That mindset explains much of the Democrats' confusion...You should definitely read the entire thing here. I couldn't agree more, and it heartens me to see that at least some folks get it.
Under this "story of Iraq," the counterinsurgency strategy is really just a small "surge" of a few more troops into Baghdad. If we weren't able to subjugate five million Iraqis with 120,000 troops, why would 140,000 do the trick? Clearly, the Bush push is a spent reed, and we should stop throwing good money after bad. We've learned a hard lesson; we should accept it and go home, tails between our legs, resolving never to play "empire" again.
Yet neither Bush nor his administration acts like one would expect a disgraced and dishonored "failure" to act. So the Democrats are infuriated at his "arrogance" and "denial," like a chess player who refuses to acknowledge checkmate and congratulate the victor.
The disconnect is that one party is playing chess, while the other is playing poker: "What do you mean you picked up the pot? I just put your king of hearts in check!"