See, libertarians are less despondent because (1) conservatives start out gloomier; and (2) we’re much more used to disappointment. Also, we’ve seen real progress in many areas over the last couple of decades.
I would have preferred seeing Barack Obama repudiated at the polls given that his economic, immigration, regulatory, foreign policy, and other policies have been disastrous. And that he couldn't muscle a budget in the past several years (indeed, he couldn't even force the Democratic Senate to produce a budget plan for discussion) is a major failure of leadership. But as Reynolds suggests, real progress happens above and beyond any particular electoral or political results.