But it doesn't just come up in regards to campaigns. For example, it was also the defacto response from poutragers following the debt ceiling deal. Even when President Obama and Democrats had managed to include some of the most dramatic cuts to defense spending we've ever seen as part of the sequester if the Super Committee failed (which it did), the line was/is that they will somehow succumb to Republican pressure to reinstate them without exacting a price.
I scratch my head so often at all of this. Its as if our team is more comfortable preparing for defeat than advocating for victory...as if we'd rather be on the outside complaining than on the inside getting what we want.
Its a way to keep your distance rather than put any "skin in the game." In other words, its protection against being disappointed. Its cynicism run amok.
What's the alternative? To borrow from poker - it means going "all in." Putting your heart and soul on the line for what you believe in and being prepared to deal the consequences...win or lose. Teddy Roosevelt said it best.
It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.