There have been so many e-mails and cell phones and taped messages and beepers and postcards and mash notes cluttering up my communications that I just haven’t been able to keep up with everything that has been happening because I have been so busy at so many gay bars and cigar bars and wine bars and booze bars and singles bars and drug bars and just plain gin mills, what with flying out to the Left Coast and jetting back and forth looking down on the flyovers, what with the Israeli election and then the Knicks and bombing the Serbs and keeping up with the market and cleaning up in those Internet stocks (and who says a Ponzi scheme doesn’t work, at least for a while?), that I just haven’t been able to get back to all those e-mails and tapes and beeps and what-have-you’s to speak ex cathedra about the biggest story in New York, and it is a humdinger. So here is my belated response because everybody who is anybody has been asking me even though they don’t want me to mention to anybody that they did ask me, so if anybody asks, you didn’t hear it from me, nor did I say anything indiscreet about Cameron Diaz or Jennifer Lopez or Denise Richards or Henry Kissinger or any of those lovelies that I hang out with when I am hanging out in the kind of bar that lovelies hang out in, which is most of the time these days.

Sure, they kind of pump up the volume in the places I’m talking about (Turn the beat around! Love to hear percussion!) so it’s hard to hear what anybody (not to mention everybody) is saying, but the right drugs clarify your mind. Underneath all the pulsations, what everybody is talking about is Hillary Rodham Clinton, and they have been talking about her so much that she makes Monica Lewinsky, the portly pepperpot of yore, pale by comparison, as they say in the parlance of our times. Went to a dance, looking for romance, saw Janet Reno and I thought I’d take a chance.

And why, you cautiously inquire, would they be talking so much about Hillary Rodham Clinton? “Because,” I crisply respond. Because Hillary cares, and because there have been so many articles and press releases and media events and free publicity and nasty attacks that she has been filling up the pages of the New York papers day after day. Hillary is big, Hillary is everywhere, Hillary is what’s happening. She is bigger than the market, bigger than fun drugs, bigger than anything. She is the Hamptons, she is Fire Island, she is a gay/lesbian fundraiser, she is the Rev. Al Sharpton blocking a bridge at rush hour and getting away with it, she is the Puerto Rican Day parade, all put together.

Okay, so you get the symbolism. Hillary Rodham Clinton is a “woman” to “women,” she is in with the black community, she is in with the ethnics, she is the poster girl of the gay and lesbian community, she is a big deal with the Democrats, and she proved she was effective politically wherever she engaged in 1996. But get this, now. They are talking about her running for the Senate seat being vacated by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, they are talking about the months of phony striptease as she pondered whether to run, they are talking about the dumb arguments about her carpetbagger candidacy, and they are also talking about a matchup with the retiring mayor of New York City, Republican Rudolph Giuliani. Get the picture? Giuliani’s highly successful mayoralty has been shadowed not only by his own questionable personality flaws, shaky marriage, fondness for drag shows, etc., but also by highly publicized incidents of police brutality which I won’t even get into. You want to linger on shooting an unarmed black man 41 times (not counting the misses) or sodomizing another with a police baton when that is such a suggestive proposition if invited dans nos jours? The point is that Rudy is going to have a problem getting the Republican nomination because he is highly independent, alienated from Gov. George Pataki, and the policing success that gave the city so much of what it needed has now been drawn into question and racially charged. Hillary’s candidacy was first advanced by Rep. Charles Rangel, so sure. there is a racial subtext, as there always is.

Now may be the time to mention that Republican Rep. Rick Lazio has let it be known that he is also interested in that Senate race, and in my brief moments of lucidity, I have actually thought that a term in the Senate for him would be in the best interests of the people of New York. Such an outcome is quite possible, but that would be political in the old-fashioned sense. Is there any politics anymore, or is everything just vibrations and projection, wishes and lies? Well, let me ask you another one. Does this stock market relate to dividends and profits and rational analysis? I mean, go figure. The Balkans are in the North Atlantic, right? You better get with it, pal, and fast.

All right, let’s cut to the chase. There’s a question as to whether Giuliani will run effectively in the 2000 race, but there is no question that Hillary Rodham Clinton has already got the Democratic nomination sewed up. The only other candidate. Rep. Nita Lowey, actually bowed out after a heart-to-heart with Hillary whom we would not pillory, heaven forbid. Women are wonderful, let’s face it, and if these two had been men, there might have been unseemly competition or aggression or rational discussion, but everything was just nice and finessed, and there was no problem. This is the politics of the future. This is the politics of the present. This is the politics of no politics at all. Pillow talks, not politics. Making nice. It gives you a warm feeling all over.

The warm feeling all over that Hillary Rodham Clinton inspires in me (if not in others) is a complete nausea combined with an overwhelming fit of the giggles, related perhaps to atavistic reactions such as disgust and indignation connected with surreal/historic memories of the Constitution and the Federalist, which as you may remember was first published in New York City to persuade the citizens that approving the Constitution was the right thing to do. Yes, Alexander Hamilton was the founder of the New York Post, and I wonder (actually, I don’t wonder, I know) what he would think of it today. We’ve come a long way, baby. I mean, we’ve got factionalism that would give James Madison hives. But what’s worse is that the factionalism isn’t based on any identifiable interest except whining and just going on and on about your sexuality, strangely unmentioned in our founding document.

So there it is. Hillary Rodham Clinton will run, she will be the Democratic nominee, and the betting is that she will win. So fasten your seat belts, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. I mean, Hillary is going to get a bye from the Democrats because she inspires such feelings of guilt and vicarious identification. Her rhetoric is a real turnoff, a complete novocaine, but it’s what people want to hear. Her blather and her chutzpah and her King have inspired no resistance that I know of, except from the Republican neocons whom she has made fools of again and again. I mean, think about it. Her affinity for sanctimonious phonies, her identity with unearned income, and her mastery (mistressy?) of globalist cant are the language of New York and Hollywood and the Beltway. Add to that her unmatched credentials as a manipulator of identity politics, and you have to admit that, though Hillary Rodham Clinton will be a nullify for the people of New York, she speaks fluently the abstract liberal flapdoodle that is the language of the New York Times and of the Post as well, hostile though the latter has been. She certainly isn’t what New York needs. She is, rather, exactly what it deserves.

They are already genuflecting for St. Hillary. Nobody even laughs when she shows up in a factory wearing a pink pantsuit and pearls and a bottle-blonde patina to conduct an Oprah Winfrey-type session with the workers. But not to worry. The hostiles in the Post and elsewhere have already announced their agenda. She is going to be asked about those cattle futures, though since the market itself is such a baseless scam, I’m not so sure that the issue will spark. She will be asked about the billing records from the Rose law firm, Whitewater, the White House travel office stuff, and all the rest of it. And then I think she will reply that these matters have been proved to be of no import and insist on not deflecting the discourse from pertinent issues like female circumcision in Africa. Empowering women and children is something that she has been vitally involved in for decades, and that is what her campaign will be all about. And if you are against that, then you are against the vital interests of women and children, their right and need to be governed by women (some of whom are a bit different), and so on. Cay rights are human rights, and if we have no gay rights, then we have no human rights, quod erat demonstrandum. That kind of stuff flies with a lot of Republicans in New York, not to mention Democrats who can’t remember when they voted for George Wallace.

I have seen the future, and it doesn’t work. That’s why I am going to be busier than ever during next year’s campaign. A lot of nose candy, a lot of Cuban cigars lit with ignited hundred dollar bills, a lot of hanky panky with those young and restless babes who are between films—that’s what it’s going to take to get me through the next year with Hillary Rodham Clinton. We’ll have fun, fun, fun, till your daddy takes the T-Bird away. Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow. I’ll be so busy dancing my life away and risking permanent hearing damage that my e-mail and my snail mail will be more neglected than ever. Or, as Austin Powers has succinctly put it, “Oh, behave!”