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I came across the phrase, “hoarse-throat tactics” in the Washington Post article (May 28) titled “GOP freshmen get a tough lesson in politics.” The phrase appears in the following sentence:

“On Capitol Hill, the Democrats they bashed have turned the U.S. Senate into a black hole for GOP ideas. So the freshmen are left with political theater, voting for bills the Senate will ignore. And back home, the same hoarse-throat tactics that helped them bring down incumbents last year — attacks on a health-care plan, town-hall heckling — have now been used against them.”

I cannot make a guess about what “hoarse-throat tactics” means. Does it mean “Repeat Calls tactics,” implying “repeat calls till the throat dries out? Can somebody tell me exact meaning of this phrase?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It means pretty much what you think. One gets a hoarse throat from shouting, but very little else. Since all they can do at this point is orate, the result of all the talk will be wear on the vocal cords.

In English, we have sayings like, "You can talk till you're blue in the face, but that won't get you what you want." This is just another version of that.

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@Robusto-san. Thank you. I was (and still am) notorious for getting excited and shout out until I get a hoarse throat when arguing even a trivial subject. I remember I ruined relationship with good friends many times by doing so. I should have learned the phrase -"You can talk till you're blue in the face, but that won't get you what you want," earlier, though it seems too late now. –  Yoichi Oishi May 28 '11 at 11:13

When you have a hoarse throat, your vocal cords in your voicebox swell, and you have difficulty speaking. So when used in the above context, the voters don't really have a say i.e. "voting for bills the Senate will ignore".

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