People always have a knee jerk reaction to them and want those lines out.
Stop with the knee jerk, blind defense of your own side—regardless of which that may be.
patellar reflex, neurological phenomenon discovered and named 1876; the figurative use appeared soon after the phrase was coined.
knee jerk n.
See patellar reflex.
: one more gesture to the knee-jerk hawks in the Congress/ Yet McDonald is no mere knee-jerk critic of the evangelicalsnoun
: We need less kneejerking on both sides in these arguments about the environment (1980s+)
[fr the patellar reflex, described as knee jerk by 1876]