The best time to argue for general principles is when they work against one's own interest, to firmly establish that they are indeed principles rather than political opportunism. Two examples:
First, from a topic rife with political opportunism,
the Supreme Court a three-judge panel recently ruled Obama's NLRB not-really-recess appointments were unconstitutional. I think that was the right decision, but a President has got to be able to get an up or down vote in a timely manner on appointments. As much as I would love to see all of Obama's appointments languish for, oh, four years or so, and as much as I really don't like his activist NLRB, having to resort to procedural hacks of this sort just to fill administrative positions is not good government. The Senate rules (or traditions as the case may be) that even one Senator may put a hold on confirmations is simply insane. While I am a supporter of the filibuster, I think the filibuster should not apply to certain Constitutionally mandated activities. Specifically: passing a budget and appointment confirmations.
Second, readers of this blog know how much I dislike our sheriff Joe Arpaio. He was unfortunately re-elected a couple of months ago, though the vote was closer than usual. This week, an Arizona group who also does not like Joe has announced it is going to seek a recall election against him. Again, as much as I would like to see Arpaio ride off into the sunset, this practice of gearing up for recall elections just days after the election is over is just insane. It is a total waste of money and resources. While I don't like to do anything that helps incumbents, there has to be some sort of waiting period (perhaps 1/4 of the office term) before we start this silliness.