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1.
Making an ineffectual attack against a relatively minor aspect of an argument or adversary, leaving the object of the attack unaffected.

An attack that is misplaced and off-target and does not address the fundamental issue.

The tactical opposite of "going for the jugular."
In argument, correcting your opponent's grammar instead of attacking her argument is an example of "going for the capillaries."
by MaxwellX July 31, 2010