Will Bill O'Reilly be one of the "founding fathers" of the latest American political party, the Tea Party, which is being taken very seriously by many Americans?
It may well be. O'Reilly had two fellow Irish Americans on his show the other night to seriously discuss the formation of the Tea (Taxed Enough Already) Party, a hard-right group named after the successful mass rallies against President Obama's policies -- the events were called tea parties by participants.
O'Reilly pointed out that a recent Wall Street Journal poll showed that 35 percent of Americans lean Democratic, 28 percent lean Republican, but that a "whopping 41 percent support the Tea Party and its tactics."
His two studio guests were Mike Gallagher, a conservative Fox News contributor, and Ned Ryun, president of American Majority, an organization closely linked with the new movement.
O'Reilly suggested that the party should nominate Sarah Palin in 2012, and got an immediate ecstatic response from the two guests.
"All over it," Gallagher responded. "I would become the biggest cheerleader. Millions of Americans would, too. Bill, it's the perfect storm. Now's the time."
Ryun wanted to move even faster, and have the Tea Party take over the Republican Party itself. He believes it's possible in today's very volatile political climate.
O'Reilly said to his guests, "You want to basically overthrow the moderates, bring in the Tea Party philosophy and let that rule the GOP. It's very interesting, because that's what's going to happen on the other side, too."
Given that Sean Hannity, another Irish American, has been very active in pushing the Tea Party agenda, there may well have a full-fledged new political movement in the United States -- spearheaded on all fronts by Irish Americans.
The success of such a party is by no means out of the question. Imagine Palin as their candidate, and a split Republican Party in 2012. It could happen.
And don't be surprised if Hannity, in particular, is not somewhere on such a ticket.
"It's time for torches and pitchforks," Gallagher concluded.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore