I’m sitting in an Indian restaurant the night their flat-screen TV’s playing the smug, smooth, self-congratulatory Hillary “Aren’t I great but I’m dropping out of the campaign” Clinton road-show, and it’s kind of sickening, like watching a festering sore on someone’s knee ooze pus. Forgive me, “Dr. Briggs,” but I just can’t stand that person. I wish she weren’t a woman so I could flat-out abhor her. She’s repugnant and repulsive to me, a walking fraud. Not that Obama is much better – an empty suit with a gift of gab.

I mean, both of THEM supposedly were in attendance at Bilderberg! The nerve! Here they pretend to be an alternative to the corrupt crew currently in power, yet they’re kowtowing to the same old cabal?

Now it occurs to me the person we should really be concerned about is McCain’s future running mate, whoever that may be. Wouldn’t it be interesting if he picked Condi Rice – Hillary and Obama rolled into one! Talk about yer Dream Ticket! Although I doubt McCain’d be that avant-garde. But if he were, the Repugs would sure give the Dumb-O-Craps a run for their money and trump, or is it trounce, whatever edge having an alternative candidate presents.

Meanwhile, my working-class friend “Cecily-Marie,” not her real name, is foaming at the mouth about Hillary’s departure, ah, “betrayal.” “Despite more than 18 million votes, she was outfoxed by his slick Chicago politics,” she fumes about her idol’s “defeat,” then uses the H-word: “This campaign’s been hijacked.”

Hey, in case she hasn’t noticed, this country was hijacked several elections ago.

Her grief – mixed with anger and rage – at her heroine’s momentary political demise, pours out like lava over the lost city of Pompeii. She blames an anti-Clinton media agenda, political fixes, maybe even “destiny.”

“I saw Carville turn to Donna Brasile on television and say, ‘It was that Robert Kennedy comment, I know it was,'” “Cecily-Marie” seethes. “Well, I say, it’s time for America to get over its hypersensitivity about its history of assassination. Hillary was merely stating a fact.”

Oh, really?

As I listen to my friend rave on and on, it occurs to me she seems to be demonstrating the same dogmatic “True Believer” mentality as, well, religious fundamentalists. How can I tell her it’s folly to assume everyone she speaks to agrees with her? Although feelings are not facts, and opinions are not scientific formulae, there’s no way I can convince her.

Nevertheless, I try.

“Has it ever occurred to you,” I gently suggest, “Politics may be the New Religion? We have dogma, true believers, one true church, crusades, infidels. Just think about it.”

Hmmm, she says, not getting my point.

And, if Politics = the New Religion, I continue, then maybe a little Tolerance would go a long way.

Instead of easing up, she rails on. Even the Democratic Party doesn’t escape her blistering criticism, although she does praise Pennsylvania’s Gov. Rendell, former DNC head, for being a Clinton loyalist. “At least Eddie stayed in Hillary’s corner until the end. I wrote him to thank him for that.”

Oh, Rendell, THAT Great American, I shrug.

Eventually she hangs up, her outrage temporarily slaked, and I return to my own thoughts. Ultimately, I suspect McCain will select some awful right-winger like, you should pardon the expression, Mitt Romney or even worse, some stealth PNAC-er. Evil incarnate all over again.

Anyway, that’s who we should be watching – Mc Cain’s prospective running mate – because, in Hillary-speak, that’s the person who will take over in case something bad happens to McCain since he’s the Methuselah of American presidential aspirants and most people are already dead when they reach his age.

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