Cornac the Magnificent calls the election

The toughest job in journalism, other than simply finding a job in these days of gutted newsrooms, is writing an election column with a week lead-time.

I’m hammering the keys on Oct. 29. The column won’t appear until Nov. 6. In the interim, the nation may elect a president.

So what can I do? It’s a historic moment, guaranteed to produce either the first African-American president or the first female vice-president. How can I not comment?

Yet I don’t know what will happen, so how can I comment?

Actually I think I do know. That’s why I wrote “may elect” instead of “will elect:” I think there’s a solid chance that when you read this, we still won’t know who won.

Republicans have already sown the seeds of another adjudicated presidency. Conservative outrage over ACORN’s voter registration practices was manufactured for that purpose, to create the notion that filthy liberals had corrupted the process in the name of Barack Hussein (got to get that in there) Obama. If the Supreme Court ultimately appoints another winner who leaves 50.1 percent of Americans ticked off for four more years, you read it here first.

Since we don’t know that yet, though, this is as good a time as any to talk about what I hope happened.

What’s the point of that? I get to rant a little, and since it’s too late to affect the outcome, The Editor won’t have to read a lot of mail about one-sided coverage. So let’s go:

PRESIDENT: Annihilation. A new definition of landslide: Obama 70-30.

Reason: In 40-plus years of watching campaigns, I’ve never seen one that relied as completely as McCain’s on lies, misrepresentations, fear mongering and race-baiting. He deserves to lose without regard to his politics. That he deserves to lose on politics, too, is a bonus.

Sarah Palin really put the frosting on my butt, though. Choosing a running mate so comprehensively unqualified was a transparently cynical political move. The fact that it’s apparently backfired is encouraging (and unexpected), but the fact that 40-odd percent of voters see her as ready to step in to the Big Job is profoundly disturbing.

SENATE: No need for a veto-proof majority if the White House falls right. If it doesn’t, I’d like to see McCain overridden every couple of weeks just for the pleasure of imagining his reactions. (Those stories about his temper? An acquaintance of mine who served with him in the Navy says they don’t do the tantrums justice).

CONGRESS: What happens can happen. I don’t want to be greedy, and it’s almost impossible to imagine a scenario where Democrats don’t retain control.

Be nice if Jill Derby knocked off Dean “All Hair” Heller, though.

WC-3, the ballot measure requiring Washoe County to consider the availability of water in planning, sounds like a full employment program for lawyers. I like it anyway. It irritates some people I’d like to see irritated, and the Washoe County commissioner who told a citizen’s group to “go home and watch Oprah” when they tried to get it on the ballot as an advisory measure deserves a poke in the eye.

Proposition 8: OK, it’s in California, but I still care. I expect it will pass, in part because the wording is confusing for low-info voters: a No sustains the right of homosexuals to marry, a Yes would abolish it.

I have no stake in this, but the idea of gay-bashers and bigots by the hundreds of thousands stomping around in a constant state of high dudgeon just over the Sierra makes me feel good all over.