Our oh-so-twisted presidential race

IF YOU'RE LIKE ME - and most of America - you're counting the days, maybe the hours, to the end of Campaign 2016.

Think of the coming respite from negative ads, annoying mailers, and plot twists that seem to spring from bad fiction in this odiously odd White House race.

Joy, thy name's Nov. 9.

Meanwhile, though, we're left to perform political autopsy on the FBI director's last-ditch decision to further pollute the waters of Hillary Clinton's email swamp.

It's a move that sucked us into a surrealistic parallel universe.

Suddenly, to Donald Trump and his Trumpsters, FBI boss James Comey transforms from slimy, rigging insider letting Clinton off the hook to the incarnation of courage and princely preserver of justice (the virtue, not the department).

Just as suddenly, to Hillary and the Clintonistas, Comey transmogrifies from paragon of principle and evenhanded hero to criminal water-carrier for the "vast right-wing conspiracy."

Oh, Fortuna, when will your fickle finger point us to truth?

Actually, would we even recognize it?

Major elements of this campaign are like a collection of pitches for story lines on sitcoms.

How about this pitch? A wealthy candidate for president who has never held or sought office, who knows little about policy, is crass, crude and fact-free, who is accused by multiple women of sexual assault after he himself said his station in life allows him to do anything he wants to women, including grabbing them between the legs, is competitively positioned to win the White House - against a woman.

Honestly. Doesn't this sound like an eight-episode dark humor series on HBO?

How about this one? A former first lady about to win the presidency is re-ensnared in a troubling email mess involving her longtime senior staffer who she once introduced to a fun-loving congressman, whom the top aide married, only to find the guy is an incurable sleaze given to sending women (and maybe girls) pictures of his penis.

And the mess involving the former first lady, her staffer, and the sleazoid now-former congressman hits just before the election. And, by the way, the wedding of top aide and sleaze hubby was officiated by the former first lady's husband, a former president who was ensnared in a sex scandal. Oh, and former congressman's see-my-penis name is - Weiner.

OK, maybe not HBO, but definitely FX or Comedy Central.

I'm not even noting Trump's ever-flowing faucet of falsehoods or alleged ties, along with former campaign manager Paul Manafort, to Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Or Trump not being as rich or as philanthropic as he pretends. Or Trump refusing to release his "under audit" tax returns. Or Trump, if he wins, planning to name Comey as his secretary of a newly created Department of Lock Her Up.

I'm also not noting how Democrats finagled their nominating process to benefit Hillary. Or how Hill-pal Donna Brazile got tossed from her CNN gig after leaked emails showed her tipping Hillary off to questions to be asked at a CNN debate.

Or - and I love this one - how the Clintons didn't bother getting required local permits to upgrade a second house they recently bought for $1.2 million on the same street in Chappaqua where they previously bought a $1.7 million house, which, I guess, gives them an extra vote at neighborhood association meetings and/or enough clout to tell those pesky permit fee enforcers to just eff off.

Is there any wonder the average of national polls shows the race virtually tied?

Please, Fortuna, twist one more time. Give us some sign of inspiration. At least don't send us any more crazy. We're all stocked up here.


Blog: ph.ly/BaerGrowls

Columns: ph.ly/JohnBaer