Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Point is to Win

I've posted a comment over at LamontBlog about whether there are dividends that are coming just from challenging Lieberman. I know that the last thing the blogger who made this suggestion (thirdparty) wants is for people to take their foot off the gas. Or perhaps I should say, not to take their foot off of Lieberman's back so that he can't squirm away to rebrand himself a true fighter against Republicans.

However, I liken this this thought (that the long-term benefits of Ned challenging Joe make the race worth it even if he loses)to the thoughts I get when I'm running a marathon. (I've run 4). You go into the race with your goal in mind (in 2005 it was to break 4:00), but after 20 miles, your mind starts wandering and coming up with all sorts of reasons why you should slow down or take a break, even though that prevents you from achieving your goal. My body was perfectly fine (postrace I was able to walk around without problem and wasn't too sore), but my mind was a powerful foe, full of rationalizations for me to stop or slow down coming at me one after another.

"Think of all the ancillary benefits of having run so well for so much of the race; Use this race as a jumpstart in training for another race in a couple months; It's OK to slow down becasue you'll still finish ahead of so many other people." Everything, it seems, except keeping my pace up where it should be. If I don't fight those thoughts agressively, I'm a goner. It's too damn easy to rationalize easing up, so the last thing I want to do is ponder those thoughts that would give me an easy out.

For somebody who wants to see Ned Lamont win, I can't afford to think about the benefits of him getting close, because it's a reason not to do things I know I should to help the campaign which are out of my comfort zone. It takes the focus from that of participant ("what can I do to help Ned win") to one of observer. Meta-discussions (I think I'm using that word right) are not going to help Ned win.

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