But even a mild round of self-critical competition–let alone the traditional orgy–will be hard to mount in today’s media environment. As everyone knows, much of the engaged left has effectively hived itself off in MSNBC world, where the typical show features a liberal host, and a guest who agrees with the host, and another guest who agrees with the first guest. Even in the printosphere, when Obama screws up Jonathan Chait or Michael Tomasky are there to explain why the screw up isn’t really such a screw up and actually hurts Republicans in the long run.

In other words, we already know why Obama will have lost. He’ll have lost because he wasn’t populist enough, he demoralized his base, he didn’t pursue single-payer, he foolishly tried to win over swing voters instead of registering new voters, he was too nice to the Republicans. Rachel Maddow and both her guests will nod sagely.