Hugs and kisses and sleeping with the fishes

Community Columnist

Hugs can be as forward as tokens of genuine intimacy, like the acceptance of forgiveness from an otherwise adversarial foe or a defensive machination designed to set boundaries, like the establishment of friendship and nothing more.

It’s disturbing that the capacity of love, that quality that makes us so uniquely human, can also distort our intentions, leading to the most hideous of crimes like the kiss of death that Michael Corleone gave his brother Fredo.

The Senate Democrats recently proposed legislation that would force politicians to disclose the sources of their biggest contributors. The bill would not restrain overly generous funding to any or all parties, but merely identify these organizations pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into campaign ads.

Even though this bill would ordinarily appeal to bi-partisan fairness, the Republicans shot it down during just-another-session of nothing getting done. Beyond the natural spontaneity of the occasional harmless greeting that most of us display, there are some that call themselves huggers. An overbearing lot, the huggers can sometimes blunt the act with sheer overdoing or by inappropriate injection without proper introduction. And sometimes, they are just sharks.

“Instead of standing up for the American people, Republicans stood with big banks and oil companies - special interests that certainly don’t need more clout in Washington,” Obama said.

Even so, there is a reason a hug is not an equally shared embrace and it usually has to do with timing, due to the unconstrained whim of the hugger. When Mom sees her son home safe, he shies away from her affection, as she shies from his when he opens his birthday present and finds exactly what he wanted. A teacher will hug a student when it’s time to part but will shrug off a reciprocation years later when all that hard work has turned into tangible fruition.

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