More than one sage has expressed an opinion that Hillary is only lying in wait, not unlike a crocodile lurking at a waterhole, before announcing an unexpected bid for the presidency. I disagree. In my humble opinion, there are a number of reasons why the Lizard Queen will choose to sit on the sidelines in 2004.

First, none of the four major theories of history support her candidacy at this time. The Great Man theory dictates that in this time of crisis and war, George Bush will rise to the occasion, like many an underrated man before him, and tower over the electorate like an unassailable Colossus until the danger is past. The Accident theory is chancy and in any case would seem to favor Howard Dean, or, more amusingly, Al Sharpton.

Given the Marxian reduction of everything to class interests, it is obvious that a petit bourgeois arriviste such as Ms. Rodham-Clinton can neither command the allegiance of the proletariat nor enjoy the trust of the capitalists. Furthermore, the economic climate – or at least the perceived economic climate; I’ve read novels containing less fiction than the recent claim of 7.2 percent growth in GDP – is not one that lends itself to electoral upheaval, much less class struggle.

Even the Conspiracy theory, which usually fits all things Clintonian like a condom, does not point to Hillary. The Old Guard is nothing if not sexist, and while it’s not exactly unheard of for a Rhodes Scholar to replace a Jolly Roger, one finds it hard to imagine them permitting a former Girl Scout to do the same. Not even one who is in the direct matrilineal line of Lilith, daughter of Asmodael, Hell Baron of the Seventh Circle.

While I have much respect for the raw animal cunning and devious creativity of America’s most famous foot-fetishist, I honestly think that Dick Morris is forgetting something about his former client. The Lizard Queen is cold-blooded. She is not a risk-taker, at heart, and she is far more prone to finishing off the sick and wounded than taking on an alpha male in a full-frontal attack.

Her carpet-bagging defeat of an unready, ill-prepared Rick Lazio may have proved her electability, but it was a risk-free run in one of the most left-liberal states in the country. To maintain her momentum, she had little choice but to throw her hat in the ring somewhere while her husband and his allies still controlled the Democratic National Committee. And was it boldness that helped her propel her husband’s campaign in 1992, or simply a Wellesley snob’s desperation to escape Little Rock?

In 2004, however, she has much to lose. Not only would a late entry anger significant powers within the Democratic Party, but a loss would dramatically reduce the wattage of her star. A bad loss – or worse, a failure to win the nomination – would finish her as a serious contender altogether.

President Bush 2.0 should not be confused with his predecessor. He has not yet won his war, but he shows no signs of prematurely letting up on the gas. His domestic timidity may be the result of more pressing issues or simply a lack of conservative conviction, but in any case, his willingness to pull the trigger on Afghanistan and Iraq shows that, when pressed, he will go for the jugular. And for all that she has the nimble feet of a survivor, Hillary has no armor.

Last week’s Goodridge decision should cement Hillary’s decision to stay on the sidelines. No candidate will now be able to finesse their position on this ludicrous redefinition of marriage, and upcoming debate over the inevitable Defense of Marriage Amendment will significantly weaken the Democratic Party, as a large portion of its remaining Christians and conservatives – of all colors – abandon it. The decision of the Massachusetts court will likely prove to be every bit as significant in the re-election of George Bush as was the decision of the United States Supreme Court in his election.

So, the Lizard Queen will continue to lurk quietly in the gaseous morass of the Senate, biding her time, waiting for the right moment to strike an unsuspecting America and drag it beneath the dark waters of her totalitarian vision.

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