May 28th, 2010

DEFINING REFINING: What Does The Word “ATTACK” Mean In A Primary?

Is it an attack or not an attack? That is the question. Let’s define the word and knock this around a bit.

[uh-tak]  –verb (used with object)
1. to set upon in a forceful, violent, hostile, or aggressive way, with or without a weapon; begin fighting with: He attacked him with his bare hands.
2. to begin hostilities against; start an offensive against: to attack the enemy.
3. to blame or abuse violently or bitterly.
4. to direct unfavorable criticism against; criticize severely; argue with strongly: He attacked his opponent’s statement.
5. to try to destroy, esp. with verbal abuse: to attack the mayor’s reputation.
6. to set about (a task) or go to work on (a thing) vigorously: to attack housecleaning; to attack the hamburger hungrily.
7. (of disease, destructive agencies, etc.) to begin to affect.

So that is what says an attack is.  What say you?  What says Reagan?  Does either my opinion, Craig Robinson’s opinion, Branstad’s opinion, Vander Plaats’ opinion, Stacia’s opinion, Deace Voted For Obama’s opinion Iowans Rock’s opinion or  Red247’s opinion matter when it comes to whether a news bite, headline, comeback or speech zinger is indeed an attack or not?  Sorry to burst all of our bubbles at once, but fact of attack or not probably doesn’t matter in the primary to primary voters.

Is it an attack if Branstad vows he will speak no ill of a fellow republican (like Reagan advocates) then he calls Vander Plaats a dictator for pledging to put a stay on same sex marriage via executive order?  Is it an attack if Vander Plaats distinguishes himself from Branstad and Culver in a ad about immigration?  Is it an attack if Craig Robinson omits in his headline that the ad also equally mentions Culver? Either way it is likely on purpose and meant to make a point or it is a real question that begs an answer to genuine curiosity.

Is it only an attack when name calling comes into question?  Does it matter or does it just make us want to be more like Reagan in image while in reality sometimes we would rather respond like a rebounding Dennis Rodman?  Hey its politics right? Is it an attack to question the record of a former CEO?  Is it an attack to question how the media in general plays pretend to the emperor’s new clothes legacy of former a governor’s track record of keeping 2 sets of books?  Did I say that sarcastically?  Was that an attack or just articulate literature?

Is it an attack if I say as a baseball coach I would bench a player who was 0-16 at the plate and send him back to the minors?  Is it an attack if I honestly say that I do not trust a candidate for governor who indeed was 0-16 years on shrinking government.  If I honestly just say I don’t believe for a second that just because its popular now to say that a candidate will shrink government when that candidate already had sixteen chances I highly doubt it.  For coach Dave that is one of many game changers, I mean are you serious… ZERO FOR SIXTEEN?  Is it an attack to use caps to bring attention to a point?  How about if I use bold font too… ZERO FOR SIXTEEN! What if I just mention it in an baseball analogy without the caps?  Is that okay then?

Is it an attack if I simply state I’m perplexed that Branstad is now claiming he is the honest conservative?  I’m not saying he is not honest.  That is between him and God.   I’m just saying I’m perplexed.  I’m just saying that if you can sell honestly that means all the counts against him are false right?  I mean a politician who has served for 16 years has never lied, right?

Is it an attack if I bring to your attention that when Vander Plaats confronted Branstad in the final debate non biased experts in body language would agree Vander Plaats who was confidently looking right in his opponent’s eye appeared more truthful than Branstad with his head shaking looking down and away appeared to be the non truthful candidate.

Hmmm.  Is that an attack just to mention that or is that just a simple question.  Or does it matter who asks the question?  After all it wasn’t Craig Robinson or Nathan Tucker, it was Dave Davidson.  Maybe I should question Vander Plaats on a number of issues just so people will look into the Branstad deficiency more.

Is it an attack if 50 comments light up after this article slamming me and anyone that sticks up for Vander Plaats?  When it comes to the primary who cares?  If I can take attacks.  If Craig Robinson the TIR founder can take attacks on a daily basis for running this site,  I think the gubernatorial candidates can and do handle it.   Even Branstad, who is attempting to rebound from wounds by the “attack” ads by democrats had to spend half his speech at the Polk Gop event Wednesday day pandering or do you say defending to the  GOP faithful crowd claiming, “That they were just to intelligent to fall for such false attacks.”

BUT why would democrats spend so much money making stuff up rather than use content that which was true when facts are facts?  I mean if you’re gonna make stuff up via hyperbole method why not just say Branstad is an stem cell clone of Culver, Vander Plaats is now the head of One Iowa and that Roberts is a transvestite alien Communist.  Of course all that is nonsense and a joke, but to me in my opinion that type of crazy ebellishment and exaggeration makes as much sense as the actual ITR endorsement of Branstad.  And yes that was a snarky attack or was it merely a joke with a false confession?

Hey voters I say go for it.  Find out the facts of the candidates.  Find out why on one recent morning Branstad’s website touted an endorsement by former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, but then by afternoon the bragging rites and even the archive of the mention vanished.  Why has no other TIR writer picked up on any of this?

Why did Branstad fail to mention the Romney endorsement in the press avail after the debate when he mentioned the ITR endorsement?  After all Romney is famous. Wouldn’t that help Branstad?  Hmmm.  I dunno, but why didn’t the press ask him either?  Is it an attack to wonder why or should I just fall in line and say, “Hey emperor your clothes look great.”   Sorry not today, I question it.  I question things because I am not all knowing, but I do want the truthful fact even if I ask while being sarcastic.

As Harry S. Truman said, “I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.”  So are “attacks” always an attack or do they more often than not resemble an expression of conviction?  Was Harry just joking around? Am I?

Branstad, Romney,baseball & “Roomates” Quotophoto image by Dave Davidson
& “Hugh Myrrh” is a pen name of Dave Davidson too.


Oh yeah, one more question… Is it an attack to again bring up that I do not hide behind an anonymous commenter name, insinuating how others do so at this site and do so multiple times and any pen name like Hugh Myrrh I do have I take 100% responsibility for?  Does that matter in the primary?  No, of course not.

I will keep asking questions like I do with my real name and even if we disagree,  may the conversation help us both think better and find the truth and discover the best candidate.  I thank you for your time and respect your right to free speech.  Let’s seek the truth together.

So what is your definition of an attack?  Should we now all cite which of the 7 examples the dictionary gives?  What say you about this loaded word “attack?”  When should a candidate lay low and when should they go on the offense?  – Dave

About the Author


Dave Davidson is the TIR artjournalism storyteller photographer and founder of (polite) presidential paparazzi with manners. He is the author of gobs of books including “Sarah Palin Inspires Me”, “Huckisms” and “You May Be A TEApublican”.

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