Reich wrote this week that Democrats have ideas but Republicans have discipline, illustrating the point with his own call for a September march on Washington, which he now admits was just a thought balloon.
But the loss has stiffened some liberal spines, like that of New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who now calls for "siege warfare against deeply entrenched interests, defending a deeply dysfunctional political system."
So while the far right won the health care argument last month, there are Democrats to their left who now want to go to war. Senate Finance Committee chair Max Baucus has even given up on bipartisan negotiations and is ready to push through with his own party.
Rather than negotiating with Republicans to break a filibuster, in other words, Democrats are now negotiating among themselves to craft a bill that will win a majority through the Senate reconciliation process and pass the House.
The result could be a much more liberal bill than Washington previously thought could pass, or it could mean nothing at all. Whipping Democrats is a lot like herding cats.
Liberal Democrats have already stated clearly they won't vote for a bill without what they call a public option giving people the right to buy-in to something similar to Medicare. An opposite call from "Blue Dog" Democrats and you're back to square one.
The problem here for Republicans is their own past success. President Clinton failed to get a health bill through in 1993 and Democrats were hammered the next year, especially their more conservative members. It took them over a decade to win back the majorities they had then.
This may make threats to wreck the careers of those voting "aye" less potent, with conservative Democrats figuring that if they can't win they might as well stand for something.
The bottom line. If Democrats can't agree on a proposal given their substantial majorities in both Houses of Congress, they face a generation's exile in the political wilderness, no matter how many crazy pills some Republicans take.
The title of Ted Turner's autobiography applies here. Lead, follow or get out of the way.
If George Bush could get a war on a simple majority, Barack Obama should be able to get health care that way. Those who endorsed that war may learn to rue the lesson it taught.