Matt posted this over the weekend and it really rings true to me:
I think the speed with which Coakley's loss was seized upon as a reason not to walk through that door underscores how fundamentally uncomfortable with the framework so many people were. Say Coakley had turned back the tide and beaten Brown 51-49. Couldn't some members have looked at that and said that Coakley's very weak showing in the true-blue Bay State showed the unpopularity and infeasibility of Provision X and thrown a wrench in the works? It feels to me that a lot of members were looking for an excuse not to do it, and now they've seized upon one. But the underlying impulse to seek excuses and shift blame was long there.
I haven't given up on this yet, but I think this is a really good point. I'm certain some of these guys were just looking for a reason to walk away.