"Hippie punching" is in the news around the world these days — Paul Krugman, "Macroeconomic Hippie-Punching", NYT 5/26/2013; "Gordon Campbell on the govt's latest bout of hippie punching", Scoop Media NZ 5/27/2013; "« Hippie punching » et puis tant pis !", L'est-éclair 5/28/2013;
One definition is offered by Michael Berube, "Libya and the Left", The Point, Spring 2012:
Those who believe that there should be no enemies to one's Left are fond of accusing me of "hippie punching," as if, like Presidents Obama and Clinton, I am attacking straw men to my Left in order to lay claim to the reasonable, vital center.
But hippie-punching seems sometimes to include the rhetorical abuse of leftists by people who self-identify unashamedly as rightists.