What is hippie punching?
The term hippie punching, in its new incarnation, was used to describe the distance President Barack Obama and his administration supposedly tried to put between themselves and their liberal Democratic base of voters and activists to appear more centrist to Americans.
See more: Obama Myth Factory
At least one White House spokesman had begun referring to those liberal activists as "the professional left."
Here is the phrase hippie punching in context:
"You want us to help you, the first thing I would suggest is enough of the hippie punching," liberal blogger Susie Madrak told White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod. "Liberals and bloggers feel like we're the girl you take under the bleachers but won't be seen with in the light of day."
The phrase hippie punching began to catch on, particularly among the mainstream media, after Madrak's remark during a conference call with Axelrod in September of 2010.
"Madrak was referencing a phrase thrown around by bloggers who think the Obama administration has treated its liberal base with disdain," CBS News later reported.
Previously, conservatives had used the phrase "punch a hippie" in mocking liberal activists.