November 15, 2012

Lesson 3 - Ignore some stuff

Having just said I'd wait on posting lessons learned from the Obama re-election and Romney loss, I'm back posting a lesson learned.  This one seems like further reflection probably won't alter it too much, so I figured I'd go ahead and share it now.

I haven't written about the David Petreaus scandal stuff despite the fact that there may be national implications to it. One of the reasons is that every issue does not not carry the same weight with the electorate. No matter how much the issue is pushed forward, the electorate may see it as unimportant or perhaps driven by hyper-partisan efforts.  In the bigger picture, it doesn't help the cause in a meaningful way.

Since it does not move the needle, it is not worth the effort they way some other issue that can move the national mood or really is worth the fight.

This is the lesson that should have been learned from the Bill Clinton impeachment effort and the left's attempt to stop Clarence Thomas from reaching the Supreme Court. The effort in both those cases did not yield the desired outcomes. People will accept some flaws.  Flaws are not usually game changers.  Personal flaws do not override philosophy, and therefore are typically ignored and therefore should be ignored.

That's not to say that the issues should be ignored. Often when an issue like the Petraeus scandal start to smolder it's not clear what will come out. But full force focus on the issue of the day is not productive. The other main concern with over-focus is that it leads to an appearance of an opposition that has no focus. In fact, it has no focus. The issue with Benghazi and the Petraeus scandal is a distraction from the fiscal cliff, and liberty and Big Government.

From a social conservative perspective, yes, they are related to core values, but they are still not the big ticket issues are they? They may reflect badly on the individuals you oppose but the reason you oppose them is because of their values. Others seem to have not enough of an issue with their values. That's the battle you should be fighting. Winning hearts and minds. If Obama were impeached for some sort of moral impropriety what have you gained? He will be replaced and voters who had no problem with his moral stance will feel the same way about the next person to come along.

The lesson is simple - focus on the big boulders and forget the rocks and pebbles, at least at this stage. Building a solid foundation for the future will not depend on those smaller stones. Where the boulders sit is all that matters now and 90% of what will matter.
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