They watched Dems in 2000 and 2001 and 2002 and 2004 snuggle up to Bush in the hopes that his success would shine on them as well. When he failed, the Dems couldn’t claim they thought these were shitty ideas all along because the Dems had voted for them.
They approached it as a gamble, which is insulting since war and torture are actual, you know, THINGS, and then they bet wrong, so they were losing losers who didn’t even have the courage of their convictions to keep them warm at night. Republicans, natch, took a lesson from that. Not about the courage of one’s convictions, of course, but about never hedging your bets.