Liberal Blogger Accuses White House Of “Hippie Punching”
The relationship between the Obama White House and the progressive blogosphere isn't very good right now, and it's a preview of what is likely to happen on the right if the GOP gets back in power.
During a conference call today, White House adviser David Axelrod got quite the earful from Susan Madrak of Crooks and Liars:
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 seeme 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 Dems.
“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 White House.
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.”
Is this what the so-called “reality based community” now thinks of it’s relationship to the White House, as some sort of analogy to high school date rape ? If that’s the case, then I’ve got to wonder how much reality they’re really clinging on to.
On a side note, though, don’t be surprised if we start hearing similar things, albeit expressed differently, from the right side of the blogosphere when they discover the lesson that the “Netroots” are only now starting to learn — that there is a distinct difference between being a propaganda organ for a highly ideological movement, and actual governing.
There are many criticisms one can level on the Obama Administration and on President Obama’s leadership abilities, I covered some of them earlier this week, but expecting ideological perfection in a business that has been compared in the past to sausage making is, quite honestly absurd. And expecting the President of the United States to stroke the egos of a few bloggers just strikes me as vanity.
My advice to the Tea Party crowd ? Look at how the progressive left is reacting to the Obama Administration, and prepare to be disappointed. Because it’s going to happen. Take what you can get rather than taking to streets.