It's just that W and top GOPers at the time NEVER EVER laid out a coherent "here is the problem, how we got there, and the logical solution would be ...." case to the public.
No matter how shrilled the liberals screamed at the time, more 'adults' would have looked/listened dispassionately, and thus rationally. [Probably another chalk up Rove's brilliance.]
Logic would NEVER have worked.
The people were in an emotional mood and the fire-breathing socialists know just how to exploit that.