"Obama and the Democrats over-reached..."
The problem was that both the Universal Coverage-butter and the Public Option-gravy were placed well beyond the Democrats' dinner table. Then they ran as if they were ashamed of even asking for such.
As a Democratic voter I found myself dragging-ass, to the polls. I was not impressed, energized, or mildly interested in half-measures, compromises, and giving up on actual goal realization. The current attitude of Liberal leadership is lacking a stiff backbone, in my opinion. They simply aren't standing up for progressive values with any kind of authority, passion, or enthusiasm.
We lost because our voters stayed home, while the GOP road Tea Party vigor all the way to victory. A mere 15 million Democrats made it to the primary election process, while the Conservatives saw almost 20 show up. That is an enthusiasm gap, and is the first lesson of politics. Voter turnout wins elections.
People follow strong leadership, to the polls. They will not follow those who appear to be weak, ineffectual, lacking in confidence, and unwilling or unable to justify their votes or actions. The Tea Party didn't win any debate, and none of them offered any specific solutions to our current problems, yet they won. What they did have were impassioned people standing up and making an argument, at every opportunity. They took every opportunity to attack Democratic efforts, while Liberals fell silent and hung their heads with dis-pride.
We will win, when we take unashamed progressive positions, that Liberal voters can get excited about supporting. We showed up and voted for change, in huge numbers. What we got was something less than impressive. We abandon our base and left voters with little to be excited about. Democrats will win, when they act like leaders with the better ideas.