The Return of Hippie-Punching

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 7 2011 4:38 PM

The Return of Hippie-Punching

I've got a story going up shortly all about the messy weekend in D.C. -- an Americans for Prosperity conference beset by Occupy D.C. protests, allegations of physical resentment, mutual disrespect all over the place. But because I mostly focused on the fracas outside, I was light on details about how much the AFP speakers and attendees ripped apart the Occupy movement. No one did it with quite as much gusto as Andrew Breitbart, whose speech to the Saturday morning AFP rally was all about the rottenness of the new, new, new left.

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Compared to that, Rudy Giuliani was nearly subtle. He didn't go into great detail about why the Occupiers werre so bad; he only wanted to blame Barack Obama for causing the protests, with his "years of class warfare" ginning up the troops. Tim Phillips, the media-friendly president of AFP (I'm contrasting that with the less-media-friendly chairman, David Koch), used his speeches on Friday and Saturday to attack the Occupiers, sarcastically thanking them for exposing what the left was really like.

"How many of you thought that was about love and peace?" joked the anarchist-turned-FBI informant Brandon Darby at a Saturday session on ex-liberals. "Wait until you see what they have planned for the Republican convention."

UPDATE: The story is here.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.