This country's leaders, both Republicans and Democrats, have lost faith in the people's ability to judge the rightness of a cause. This leads the Republicans to lie about their true motives and the Democrats to try and split the difference.
In fact, this is a problem of the whole Washington establishment. The wakeup call for me was during the Lewinsky scandal when that establishment, Republican, Dem and Media, were convinced that this scandal would bring down Clinton and were subsequently shocked when Clinton's approval ratings skyrocketed more than 10 points almost overnight. It was then I realized that that establishment was woefully out of touch.
Unfortunately, that establishment remains convinced that it was the public, not them, that didn't "get it". (In fact, I believe one of the underlying dynamics of the 2000 election was that the establishment, having lost respect for the judgment of the people, didn't really care that much if that judgment, in the form of Gore's popular vote victory, was overturned by the court.)
Some in the Democratic party are starting to "get it" as far as what it means to actually listen to the people. But we are a long way off from a true rapproachment.