William Saletan hits the nail on the head.
“if health care did cost the party its majority, so what? The bill was more important than the election. I realize that sounds crazy. We’ve become so obsessed with who wins or loses in politics that we’ve forgotten what the winning and losing are about. Partisans fixate on punishing their enemies in the next campaign. Reporters, in the name of objectivity, refuse to judge anything but the Election Day score card. Politicians rationalize their self-preservation by imagining themselves as dynasty builders. They think this is the big picture. They’re wrong. The big picture isn’t about winning or keeping power. It’s about using it. “