The title of the article is:
Tea Party activist to GOP: 'Take off your lace panties,' cut more from the budget"
The gist of the article can be summed up in the final paragraph:
"I say to the Republican leadership: take off your lace panties, stop being noodle backs, take a strong, bold, unwavering stand for the American people."
The context of the statement in question is:
Fellow Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota took a similar tact as she spoke at the rally.
"[Democrats] They've got their fingers crossed right now that the government will shut down," Bachmann claimed. "That's their plan. They want to shut the government down and they want to turn you into their scapegoat and say it is the Tea Party's fault for shutting the government down. Now, the cat is out of the bag. We know who has no interest in negotiating. It's Harry Reid. It's the big liberals over in the Senate."
If diplomacy, sophistication, opportunism, and savvy, can be variations of "tact", then I think it could be used, if it were stated properly. Can you "take a tact"? I thought tact was something one possessed, and expressed...but a search yielded these examples (there were at least five on the first page of results, including the Congressional Record):
60 Kymlicka appears to take a similar tact by placing indigenous people's commitment to “a premodern way of life” in the recent past and describing them as aspiring to “the ability to maintain certain traditional ways of life while nevertheless ...
Matt took a similar tact. “Lead on, McDuff,” he said lightly to the realtor. As if they were old friends screwing around over beers, instead of traipsing through the former lair of an evil black magician. It reminded her of the early days in the field, ...
There are a couple of different responses that I think we could take in this that do not require us to wait around until we ... has been the principal sponsor of that takes a somewhat similar tact — again, involving no bureaucracy, no tax dollars.
According to the context of the statement, the above examples, and the definition below, I think the answer to the OP's question is yes.
- a keen sense of what to say or do to avoid giving offense; skill in dealing with difficult or delicate situations.
However, I also believe that Josh61 brings a valid and valuable argument. I was ready to jump to his defense until I dug a bit deeper and was surprised to find so many examples... So, the question this leads me to is this: Are "tact" and "tack" becoming conflated in their usage? Is "taking a tactful tack" becoming "taking a tact"?
I think I asked/answered this question in the wrong place. I was thinking more along the lines of Esa Itkonen and the like:
Linguistic change, or more generally linguistic variation, and extraordinary use of language are, then, the two cases where atheoretical linguistic knowledge is less than certain, or where the social control of such knowledge is less than absolute. The possibility of spontaneous change is a necessary precondition for the continuous functioning of language, and distinguishes natural language from such artificial normative systems as formal logic or the game of chess. Moreover, linguistic change represents the exact point at which linguistic normativity and linguistic spatiotemporality contact each other, or merge into each other. For my general conception of science, such a point is of absolutely crucial importance since it provides the natural link between the empirical sciences and conceptual analyses in the widest sense. (Itkonen 1978: 153; emphasis added).