It’s always fascinating and often amusing to watch the partisan spin masters and media talking heads following an election. Some practice spin like it was high art, suitable for framing in the Louvre. But with a 24-hour news cycle to fill, many are about as sophisticated as a reality TV show, only less enlightening.

This year, of course, much of the discussion – and thus most of the spin – revolves around the impact of the health reform law on the mid-term election results for Congress and state offices. To be sure, electorates are hard to read, many factors are in play, perceptions trump reality, knowledge is asymmetrical, and both winners and losers affect the final results.

Nonetheless, all the spin reminds me of a story. Years after the Civil War, General George Pickett was asked by a reporter why his eponymous charge at Gettysburg failed. Pickett replied, “I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.”