It does not restart, it locks up with a mostly useless error message, then, maybe, at one point, possibly restarts. The restart is not a policy decision it's a side effect of the box being dead. Here's the better option: bubble up the issue to the caller and let it decide what to do.
> Looks to me that Upstart kept the lesser of two evils.
Upstart didn't do anything.
> I'd reject that patch too.
The patch isn't rejected.
Just because the reject status wasn't used does not mean it wasn't rejected. The patch, as it was written, was rejected. It won't be used and the recommendation was a complete rewrite in a completely different direction.