I read in the Spectator this week an article about the process political parties typically go through after a defeat.
Stage 1 We didn't really lose. (The other guys just happened to luck into an appealing candidate - but people really prefer us).
Stage 2. OK, we lost - but only because the voters are idiots.
Stage 3. OK, we lost and maybe the voters are not idiots - but there is nothing we can do without betraying our sacred principles.
Stage 4. Hey, maybe there is something we can do".
In other words:
Stage 1. Denial
Stage 2. Blame.
Stage 3. Justification.
Stage 4. Responsibility
Sound familiar? So incredibly simple, yet sometimes so incredibly hard.