I was a genuine hippie at one point in my life. I saw the Grateful Dead more times than I can remember <insert joke> had long hair when it was still possible for me to grow it and wore the same jeans jacket for 7 years. (A friend called it my “drug coat” and she wasn’t far wrong.) I drew the line, however, at hackey sack, patchouli oil and incense. Feh.
This post is NOT about literal hippies but about the virtual hippies of the so-called professional left. I’m somewhat jealous of them, actually, since I am merely one of the amateur left. Does that make me a beatnik or something else? I’m not sure…
Anyway, some high profile virtual hippies had a conference call with White House spinmeister David Axelrod and his well-manscaped eyebrows. It’s all over the inteweb now but I stumbled on to the exchangeat Greg Sargent’s blog so I’ll cut and paste his post:
Top Obama adviser David Axelrod got an earful of the liberal
blogosphere’s anger at the White House moments ago, when a blogger on a
conference call directly called out Axelrod over White House criticism
of the left, accusing the administration of “hippie punching.”
“We’re the girl you’ll take under the bleachers but you won’t be
seen with in the light of day,” the blogger, Susan Madrak of Crooks and
Liars, pointedly told Axelrod on the call, which was organzied for
liberal bloggers and progressive media.
The call seemed to perfectly capture the tense dynamic that exists
between the White House and the online and organized left: Though White
House advisers in the past have dumped on the left, anonymously and
even on the record, Axelrod repeatedly pleaded with the bloggers on the
call for help in pumping up the flagging enthusiasm of rank and file
“You play a great role in informing people about the stakes of
elections,” Axelrod told the bloggers. “One of the reasons I was eager
to expend time was to enlist you.”
But hovering over the call was the obvious disconnect between this
plea for help and statements like those of Robert Gibbs, who recently
pilloried the “professional left” for being overly critical of the
That tension burst out into the open when Madrak directly asked
Axelrod: “Have you ever heard of hippie punching?” That prompted a long
silence from Axelrod.
“You want us to help you, the first thing I would suggest is enough
of the hippie punching,” Madrak added. “We’re the girl you’ll take
under the bleachers but you won’t be seen with in the light of day.”
Axelrod didn’t engage on “hippie punching,” but he said he agreed
with the blogger. “To the extent that we shouldn’t get involved in
intramural skirmishing, I couldn’t agree more,” Axelrod said. “We just
can’t afford that. There are big things at stake here.”
Madrak replied that Axelrod was missing the point — that the
criticism of the left made it tougher for bloggers like herself to
motivate the base. “Don’t make our jobs harder,” she said.
“Right back at’cha. Right back at’cha,” Axelrod replied, a bit
testily, an apparent reference to blogospheric criticism of the
At any rate, for Axelrod to plead with liberal bloggers for their
help turning out the base, only to get accused of “hippie punching,” is
an iconic moment in Campaign 2010.
Hey, at least she didn’t suggest that Axe drink bong juice. I only have one more thing to add to this:bummer man.
For Susie Madrak’s account get thee to Crooks and Liars. I now officially have a crush on her.