That ain't tackling

Given how many problems Portland and Oregon have, it's not possible for politicians to maintain that things are in good shape these days. But in their campaign pitches, to a one they're all quite busy telling us that they've been "tackling" the problems. Hardesty is "tackling." Read is "tackling." Not only do they "tackle" problems, but they also "tackle" issues and challenges.

What does it mean to "tackle" something or someone? One dictionary tells us that to "tackle" is –

a:  to seize, take hold of, or grapple with especially with the intention of stopping or subduing

b:  to seize and throw down or stop (an opposing player with the ball) in football

In order to "tackle" something, then, you must seize it, take hold of it, grapple with it, throw it down, or stop it. All of these imply that you have at least some modicum of control over your target. Vaguely lunging at it isn't enough. 

A missed tackle.

The politicians around here have got to be kidding. What they have been up to doesn't constitute "tackling." Not even close.


  1. I really want to over-tighten that stupid bowtie... The only likeness to tackling is when they toss the football down the road (to mix my metaphors)


Post a Comment

The platform used for this blog is awfully wonky when it comes to comments. It may work for you, it may not. It's a Google thing, and beyond my control. Apologies if you can't get through. You can email me a comment at, and if it's appropriate, I can post it here for you.