I came across a headline of an article in the Washington Post (Feb. 2nd) reading ‘Why John Ensign may be toast,’ which is followed by the following sentence;
Embattled Nevada Sen. John Ensign continues to move forward with plans to run for reelection in 2012 despite anemic fundraising and a looming Senate ethics investigation.
Between an ethics investigation and poor fundraising, the Republican senator's reelection campaign might not stand a chance. Ensign is right about it being ugly, but whether or not it's a battle he can win remains a matter of considerable debate.
From the context of the above copy, my take of ‘Be toast’ is ‘On examination (or under criticism).’ in an analogy with bread being toasted. But dictionaries at hands don’t give anything like that definition. In addition, why ‘Toast’ is used as an adjective, not in past participle form in this phrase? Though the phrase is self-explanatory to native English speakers, but not to a late-started English learner like me. Can somebody explain me about its exact meaning?