Originally Posted by TwinSwords
Hippie punching is a particular kind of attack on the left made by other liberals (usually moderates) who are trying to impress conservatives by showing them how willing they are to attack their own side. Usually done to prove "reasonableness." Attacks on Michael Moore, unions, Keith Olbermann, people who favor single payer health care or the public option, etc., are all classic forms of hippie punching. The critical ingredient is the desire to attack one's own side to prove one's reasonableness to the other side.
There has never been, in all my life, any significant rightwing equivalent. Call it "wingnut punching." Just in the last year I have heard the occasional conservative suggest that some of the tea partiers are too conservative, a sign, I think, of just how far off the cliff the GOP has gone. Joe Scarborough, who is extremely conservative, has recently been attacking Sarah Palin. Perhaps we are seeing the dawn of a new age of wingnut punching.