"Caught off guard"

via MyDD:
"We were caught off guard by this perennial Republican attack-dog mentality," says Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico and a potential 2008 presidential candidate, reflecting on 2004. "We've got to find ways to develop our own."
I'm sorry, but CAUGHT OFF GUARD?!? Jeez, Bill, and I liked you. Just when, exactly, were you "cuaght off guard" by it? 1968? How about 1972? Or perhaps 1980? Or '84? I mean, I can go on here, and I will - how about 1988? Maybe 1992? And 1996, were you caught off guard in 1996? Then in 2000, also? And, incredibly - I mean, if I'm catching your meaning here, Bill, and correct me if I'm wrong - you were also caught "off guard" in 2004?!?

I really and truly just cannot believe he said that - and, apparently, means it. What do you need, Bill - do you need Karl Rove to come to your house, personally, and kill your pets, while telling you that he's doing it, and having a notary present to certify in a legally binding document - to be prepared for "this perennial Republican attack-dog mentality", and not be "caught off guard." Or would, you know, paying attention a little do it?

Don't answer that question.

Bill Richardson would ask Keyser Sose to nanny for his children.

Caught off guard. That suggests that they were expecting something, right. What exactly were they suspecting? Potentially a quilting bee? Maybe they were expecting that the election would be determined by a Texas Hold 'Em competition between monkey emissaries. What the fuck are you talking about Bill Richardson.
What you've described would be an "attack dog" mentality, not an "attack-dog" one. The difference between "-" and " " is key. You're an editor, you know this!
Well, not to get too far into a nerdoid grammar discussion, but...oh, what the heck.

Richardson was technically accurate in describing the Republicans ' "attack-dog" mentality - assuming what he wanted to say was that the Republicans think like attack dogs (i.e., latch onto their prey and not let go or stop gnawing until the prey is subdued).

However, if we're talking about what the GOP is actually doing as, I suggest, pet-murder, then "attack dog" becomes the operative term. That is, the Republicans' mindset - as pet murderers - is "attack dog."
Then we agree. I just seem to have overlooked proper antecedents in my original statement. Ooops.
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