Here's Sheryl Gay Stolberg's analysis:
By stepping up the American military presence in Iraq, President Bush is not only inviting an epic clash with the Democrats who run Capitol Hill. He is ignoring the results of the November elections, rejecting the central thrust of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group and flouting the advice of some of his own generals, as well as Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq.I remember watching that Nixon speech on a little black-and-white TV -- one of the few TVs in East Quad -- when I was a freshman in college at the University of Michigan. We hooted with derision and hatred. How could that evil man think we would believe his insane reassurance about a despicable plan, and how could he dare to portray a new invasion as a response to our demand that he end the war?
In so doing, Mr. Bush is taking a calculated gamble that no matter how much hue and cry his new strategy may provoke, in the end the American people will give him more time to turn around the war in Iraq and Congress will not have the political nerve to thwart him by cutting off money for the war....
Wartime clashes between presidents and the Congress are a familiar thread in American history. But perhaps no president since Richard M. Nixon has so boldly expanded an unpopular war. Explaining his decision to invade Cambodia in April 1970, Nixon said: “A majority of the American people, a majority of you listening to me, are for the withdrawal of our forces from Vietnam. The action I have taken tonight is indispensable for the continuing success of that withdrawal program.”
[N]o American president has been able to prosecute a war indefinitely without the support of the American public. With polls showing fewer than 20 percent of Americans supporting increasing troop levels in Iraq, Mr. Bush and those Republicans who support him know that the new policy will be a tough sell.I think she's quoting Domenici because he sounds so dumb. Sure, trial and error, people are fine with that system. But what he's saying inelegantly is probably true. People, unhappy though they are, will steel themselves and hope the President has come up with a decently workable plan this time. If you're not one of those people and you're flipping out because you can't understand why Americans -- despite the poll numbers -- seem to accept the President's decisions nonetheless, you probably will only hoot with derision if I say I understand how you feel.
“The American people have no reason in the world to think it’s going to work just like the president paints it,” said one of those backers, Senator Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico, “but I think the American people, in their usual good sense, are going to wait around for a while and say, ‘Mr. President, you’ve taken us down a lot of roads in Iraq, let’s go down this one and see if it works.’ ”