Politics is about moving the ball as far down the field as you can on the issues you care about at any particular moment. In the 111th Congress, lawmakers had the opportunity to vote for the long-time progressive goal of universal health insurance. Voting for this bill was said to require “political courage” because, if you voted for it, you could lose your job. Patrick Murphy chose to vote for it, he lost his job, and he’s fine with that.
He got something important done for the American people and helped his political party accomplish a major policy goal. He’d probably prefer to still be in Congress, but he’s still living a happy fulfilling life. He’s not panhandling, and he is on TV a lot. Losing a Congressional seat just isn’t that big a deal. It’s not worth creating a financial crisis or shutting down the government just because some tea people might run a primary challenger against you. That wouldn’t be fun or anything, but the real stakes just couldn’t be lower for lawmakers.