- A range of opinions for both your own side and your opponent side.
- The loss can't be 100% loss - you need to have at least a minor win.
You then just ignore your own side's radical opinions, claim your side just wanted the minimum win. Of course, you make the opposite claim for your opponent - they all wanted the most radical of goals.
For example, supposed on one side you have a bunch of Neo-Nazi fascists, the most radical ones want to kill all Jews, most simply want to deport all Jews, but all of them don't want the Jews to take over their country. On the other side, are a bunch of Liberals that, all of whom despise the Neo Nazi murderous and deportative beliefs, who want to accept Jews into this country, but do have a small, radical group the want the country to set aside a few congressional seats just for Jews, to ensure they get some representation.
There is some kind of contest - a court case, or a legislative battle, it doesn't really matter. The liberals mostly win, and the law is declared to prevent the murder or deportation of Jews, and even allowing Jewish immigration, but do lose the congressional seats set aside just for Jews.
Here is how you Pretend you Won.
- Ignore your own extremists. Pretend that no serious person wanted to kill the Jews or deport them. Why those were just a few extremists radicals, it's not like anyone important felt that way. (as all your friends cry and complain in the back ground about not being able to kill or deport Jews).
- As you ignore your own side's extremists, pretend that the majority of your opponent was in the extremist camp and that it was their main point. Look, all those Liberals wanted the congressional seats set aside for Jews and we stopped them.
- Declare Victory and convince everyone that the moderate view that won was your side's real agenda.
Now, this technique has a secret - it is a great way to tell if you yourself have chosen the wrong side. How to tell when you are in fact the bad guys, despite thinking you are the good guys.
See, not everyone that does this technique is an evil mastermind. There are in fact always people that were blind about their own extremists and never realized that they were only paying attention to their opponent's extremists. In Nazi Germany most people were SHOCKED to find out that the Nazi's were killing Jews. Once they saw the evidence they realized their mistake. Yeah, they had heard a few extremists, but they thought the extremists were either making jokes (aka Rush Limbaugh) or not in control.
But you see, you don't need to wait for the concentration camps to be uncovered. If you think you won a victory, and are shocked at how all your associates think it is a loss, you need to understand something: that means your associates do NOT have the same beliefs that you do. In fact, they were simply pretending to be moderates, when in fact they were the extremists.
If you are a conservative that thinks the Supreme Court Ruling on Obamacare is a win, it means you despise the GOP's opinion on healthcare.
Yes there are quite a few conservatives claiming that the John Roberts ruling was a conservative win. They say things like "we now have a popular up-swell of support" and "we beat the commerce clause", and "we made it a tax", "we struck down the punitive rules", and my personal favorite "got the liberals to like Justice Roberts".
Then they wonder why other conservatives are so happy. The reason is simple. This was never about those things, it was about destroying a President's legacy, and it has failed. Most conservatives, despite CLAIMING they want those things, never really did. They were against Obamacare for one reason and one reason only - it was an effective new liberal program that people are going to fall in love with once they see it working (just like we fell in love with Social Security and Medicare). The GOP's only chance to stop it was to lie about what it did, and then convince people to kill it before it gets implemented as the lie gets revealed.
The truth is that 'active support' has never really been a problem for the GOP, the commerce clause was NEVER a key part of the liberal ideology (despite conservatives pretending it was), the tax argument is meaningless. Liberals never talked about it, conservatives did. The punitive rules is a minor loss, but we can recover from it. As for 'getting the liberals to like Justice Roberts", we already did. He has been moderating the radicals (Scalia) ever since he got in power. As compared to other conservative judges he is a far more intelligent and wiser judge. If he continues as he has been doing before, we will continue to like him. If he becomes more Scalia like, we will abandon him. Frankly, our likes and dislikes about Supreme Court Judges are not important. If you think getting liberals to like a conservative judge is a goal, then go ahead, spend money on it. It won't gain you anything - anymore than getting Liberals to like Kennedy did.
So once again - if you are wondering why your party is not celebrating what you thought was a win, it means your party doesn't believe what you believe. You are allying yourselves with a bunch of extremists that want do things that horrify you.