A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“My goal this weekend is to move just enough so people don’t think I’m dead” (3/25)
“In what aisle could I find the Polish sausage?” (Polish joke) (3/24)
“I hate people who bang on your door and tell you to be ‘saved’ or you’ll ‘burn.’ Stupid firemen” (3/24)
“Congress is good at only two things—doing nothing and overreacting” (3/24)
“Confidence is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you” (3/24)
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Entry from September 25, 2010
Hippie Punching

White House political advisor David Axelrod was asked about “hippie punching” in September 2010, but Axelrod wasn’t familiar with the term. New York magazine defined “hippie punching” as “when the image-conscious Democratic establishment publicly distances itself from supportive liberal activists in order to appear more centrist.” Hippies are associated with the far-left.

Right Wing News published “A Frank Legal Discussion: Why Is It Illegal to Punch Hippies?—Satire By Frank J.” on July 10, 2007. Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson was given this slogan by 2008 pundits: “"Kill the terrorists. Protect the border. Punch the hippies.” When Thompson dropped out of the race in January 2008, several pundits complained about the lack of hippie punching. On February 19, 2008, IMAO published a “Hippie Punching FAQ.”

“Hippie punching” usage evolved from the right attacking the far left to the left attacking the far left.


ThoseShirts.com
IMAO’s Fred Thompson ‘08 T-Shirt
FRED THOMPSON ‘08
KILL THE TERRORISTS
PROTECT THE BORDERS
PUNCH THE HIPPIES

Urban Dictionary
hippie punch
A hippie punch is when you’re working your way to the front of a show by performing a dancing, punching motion, therefore annoying audience members so they simply move out of the way and let you pass making your way through the crowd....closer to the jams.
I didn’t sit through the opening act and hold my pee to get a great spot, so I hippie punched my way past those who did.
by Ratdog83 Oct 10, 2009

Right Wing News
July 10, 2007
A Frank Legal Discussion: Why Is It Illegal to Punch Hippies?—Satire By Frank J.
Often I’m asked, “Why, if I punch a hippy, would I be arrested for assault? Are we supposed to believe that the Founding Fathers wanted hippies to walk around un-punched?”

IMAO
December 19, 2007
The Official IMAO Republican Primary Endorsement
Posted by Frank J. at 11:08 AM
(...)
Also, John Hawkins’s reduction of the Fred Thompson slogan “Kill the terrorists. Protect the border. Punch the hippies.” down to the less cumbersome “Kill. Protect. Punch.” really makes Fred Thompson’s strengths as a candidate clear.

National Review Online - The Campaign Spot by Jim Geraghty
He Should Have Punched More Hippies.
January 22, 2008 2:38 P.M. By Jim Geraghty
There will be a lot of post-mortems written about the Fred Thompson campaign, an effort that put together a lot of bright, hardworking people.
(...)
Along comes Fred, who doesn’t act as if rebutting Moore’s propaganda is beneath him, and he points out that Moore likes to snuggle with censoring, brutal dictators, he suggests Moore is mentally unstable… and we loved it. We’ve been looking for this combativeness from a conservative for years, and it makes Giuliani’s “I don’t need Michael Moore to tell me about 9/11” sound like Marquess de Queensbury rules. To quote Frank J, we’ve been looking for somebody to “punch the hippies.”

Another Rovian Conspiracy
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Fredmentum No More - Thompson is Out
(...)
I don’t think I’ve ever seen the red pickup truck and suspect that the campaign could’ve used more actual pickup trucks and less Gucci. That and more Hippie Punching.

Hot Air
Video: Code Stink and Berkeley vs the USMC
posted at 3:40 pm on February 8, 2008 by Bryan
If you have any doubts about Sen. Jim DeMint’s hippie punching bona fides, wonder no more. His office produced this great video about the Berkeley insurgency against the Marines.

IMAO
February 19, 2008
Hippie Punching FAQ
Posted by Frank J. at 12:36 PM
Unfortunately, American society has gotten lax on hippie punching to the point I thought I should write an FAQ to better explain the issue to those who don’t currently engage in the punching of hippies. Hopefully one day this will all become so natural again that a hippie punching FAQ will be about as necessary as a flipping people off in traffic FAQ.

HIPPIE PUNCHING FAQ
Q. Where is best to punch a hippie?
A. About the face. That’s where the hippie is most annoying.

Q. What is a hippie?
A. Generally, a hippie is an annoying, useless. Actually, less than useless, as they are not happy until they prevent other people from being useful as well. In fact, Scientists have determined that the only evolutionary purpose of a hippie is for punching as a stress release for productive members of society.

Talking Points Memo (TPM)
Will Obama Roll Out New Health Care Strategy with Labor Officials Who Insist on Public Option
Brian Beutler | September 2, 2009, 3:10PM
(...)
COMMENTS
Steve LaBonne
September 2, 2009 3:29 PM
Well, I certainly HOPE he wouldn’t be so ungracious (and politically tone-deaf) as to use this as an opportunity for a Sister Souljah moment, but I have to point out that if he were so minded it would indeed be the perfect opportunity. Not for a moment predicting he’ll do that, just saying the possibility is obvious. We know there are advocates for hippie-punching in the Administration who will be urging him to do just that. Let’s just cross our fingers that he doesn’t listen to them.

Talking Points Memo (TPM)
Pelosi: A Bill Without a Strong Public Option Will Not Pass the House
Brian Beutler | September 3, 2009, 6:41PM
(...)
COMMENTS
Stroszek
September 4, 2009 8:59 AM
And, of course, like a persecution-paranoid Southern Baptist, you dismiss any criticism of dogma with hyperbolic phrases like “hippie-punching.” Yes, you frail, poor thing… no one should let the big bad facts beat up on you.

The Atlantic - Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Pernicious Influence Of Lefty Blogs
Feb 16 2010, 9:00 AM ET
(...)
I think a lot of progressives would acknowledge that there will be serious, actual policy differences between left and right. I expect Bart Stupak and Ben Nelson to fight to curb abortion access. I don’t like it, but I get it. But so often with “centrist” Dems, I feel like I’m just watching people take positions so that they can claim to be moderate/independent because it sounds good. Listening to Blanche Lincoln ask Obama a question during the Senate retreat was horrifying. I didn’t get any sense of any deeply-held beliefs. It was just a litany of hippie-punching.

Balloon Juice
March 3, 2010
Better Living Through Hippie Punching
by Tim F.
Where is the mystery about Rahm stories? Mainstream media reporters hate hippie bloggers. Don’t know why. If I had to guess I would say that hippie bloggers make criticisms that cut deeper than the broad-brush personality-based drivel that right wingers typically serve up. A lot of managing editors (the guys who assign and approve stories, and who often lean Republican) want to be “more like FOX.” Bob Somerby has an Indiana Jones vault of evidence that most reporters arbitrarily split the difference between parties and cast around for excuses to punch hippies because it might blunt ‘liberal media’ criticisms (ha ha, I know, right). To some degree every case is a unique snowflake.

Open Left
The politics of Obama’s offshore drilling announcement
by: Chris Bowers
Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 12:28
(...)
Hippie-punching Are green groups going to be unhappy about this? You bet they are, and the Obama administration isn’t missing a chance to play that up.

Salon.com
Thursday, Apr 1, 2010 17:19 ET
How to decipher Obama’s offshore oil puzzle
Progressives complain about “hippie punching.” Conservatives roll their eyes. Business as usual for the president

By Andrew Leonard
(...)
Neither comment need be taken seriously, but together they do offer a good illustration of the perilous terrain that Obama is navigating: Environmentalists are outraged at a “hippie-punching” betrayal while Republicans are dismissive.

Balloon Juice
July 13, 2010
Your Daily Hippie Punching
by John Cole
Because I am cranky, I’d like to start the day with a little Feingold bashing.

The League of Ordinary Gentlemen
Big Labor and Libertarianism
by Mark Thompson on July 19, 2010
(...)
To the extent libertarianism is a political philosophy that is primarily concerned with anti-Marxism and “hippy-punching,” rather than being primarily concerned with limited government, I can’t dispute that Erik is absolutely right.  Indeed, if that is libertarianism’s primary concern, then it could never cooperate with labor on any issue, almost by definition.  But if that is libertarianism’s primary concern, then it is a philosophy with which I want nothing to do: anti-Marxism and limited government are two very different things.

CBS News - Political Hotsheet
September 24, 2010 10:02 AM
Liberal Blogger Accuses White House of “Hippie Punching”
Posted by Stephanie Condon
(...)
Blogger Susan Madrak of the website Crooks and Liars reportedly retorted, “Have you ever heard of hippie punching?” Madrak was referencing a phrase thrown around by bloggers who think the Obama administration has treated its liberal base with disdain.

“You want us to help you, the first thing I would suggest is enough of the hippie punching,” she said. “We’re the girl you’ll take under the bleachers but you won’t be seen with in the light of day.”

New York magazine - Daily Intel
David Axelrod Accused of ‘Hippie Punching’
9/24/10 at 11:35 AM
David Axelrod has been called many things: Ax. Mustache, possibly. David. But yesterday was the first time that he was called ... a hippie puncher.
(...)
So “hippie punching,” then, could be defined as “when the image-conscious Democratic establishment publicly distances itself from supportive liberal activists in order to appear more centrist,” or something like that.

NYTimes.com - Opinionator
September 24, 2010, 10:20 pm
Of Punching Hippies and Jumping Ship
By TOBIN HARSHAW
(...)
Madrak also asked Axelrod if he was familiar with the term “hippie punching.” He was apparently at a loss. So, I assume, were plenty of other people. “Madrak was referencing a phrase thrown around by bloggers who think the Obama administration has treated its liberal base with disdain,” reported CBS News’s Stephanie Condon, which seems fairly obvious in context, but isn’t much help in terms of derivation or meaning. As for being “thrown around,” I can only remember seeing the phrase once before, and not on a liberal blog.

According to Urban Dictionary (which, I suppose, is as close as we’re going to get to a definitive source), “a hippie punch is when you’re working your way to the front of a show by performing a dancing, punching motion, therefore annoying audience members so they simply move out of the way and let you pass making your way through the crowd….closer to the jams.” Hmm, that doesn’t seem to be it. I think I’ll give Axelrod a pass for his cluelessness, as will lawblogger Ann Althouse: “Axelrod did exactly what I think I’d do,” Althouse writes. “Keep silent, because I don’t know what it means, and I don’t want to be embarrassed by admitting it … I’m not embarrassed to say I don’t know what it means.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Saturday, September 25, 2010 • Permalink