Democrats Refusing to Shake Hillary’s Hand

[Note: See my original Daily Kos post here.]

Today in New Hampshire, Senator Clinton was greeting a crowd when a group of people, some holding Edwards signs, began loudly shouting “HEY HEY…HO HO…THE STATUS QUO HAS GOT TO GO!”

Senator Clinton walked along the crowd greeting voters, and when she reached the protesters and attempted to greet and speak to them, they ignored her entreaties and continued shouting. The senator approached several individuals in the group and reached for a handshake, but each person refused to shake her hand or speak with her.

Watch the video here.

First off, even though this goes without saying, I’ll say it anyway: This isn’t a slam on Edwards, or an attempt to indict those who support him. And unlike some of the folks here who state (presumably with a straight face) that Obama’s supporters make it less likely they’ll support the candidate, I’m not suggesting either the candidate or the lot be judged by a few vocal people.

What I’m saying is this: I too harbor a dislike of Senator Clinton and the establishment of which she is a part. I think she’s a creature of Washington who’s the least likely to take on a corrupt system. I think her Iraq vote is a travesty. And the actions of her surrogates has, in some cases, been indefensible.

But she’s still a loyal democrat, a longtime public servant and the former First Lady of the United States. She and her husband fought battles against the Newt Gingriches and Ken Starrs of the world. Some of those battles were a result of their actions, but many were for us, the party and our core beliefs. And as a woman, she’s the only one who has to deal with jackasses interrupting her appearances to demand that she “IRON MY SHIRT.”

I feel just as strongly, as an Obama supporter, that “THE STATUS QUO HAS GOT TO GO.” But if I cross paths with Senator Clinton and she offers me her hand, I will shake it. And if she attempts to speak with me, she might not like everything I have to say during such a brief and fleeting encounter, but I’m going to acknowledge her.

Maybe I just misunderstand the meaning and point of protest. That’s a fair assumption. Still, I think there ought to be a basic civility that we afford to a United States Senator, particularly one who has gotten up every day for the past year to promote many issues and policies that the leading democrats all agree are in the best interest of the country.

It’s just my $0.02, and I can only hope those in the crowd somehow read this today. Let’s all advocate for change, but let’s also cool the personal animus. Next time think of the sign you’re holding and what your candidate would expect. And when Senator Clinton offers you her hand, shake it.

P.S. I can’t say I’d extend the same courtesy to the war criminals and constitutional scofflaws in the White House. They can go to hell.

P.P.S. On second thought, I wonder if this kind of tone is a natural outgrowth of the kind of rhetoric we’ve seen from some on the campaign trail. The differences between the candidates have been played up as much, much more than they truly are. We’ve been told over and over that this is an “EPIC FIGHT” and that one candidate is part of what we’re fighting against. Heck, the other candidates didn’t even acknowledge (to mention congratulate) Senator Obama when he won the primary.

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