I know from experience that I'm going to get into hot water over this, but I don't give a tinker's curse whether I do or not.

There are times to keep your mouth tightly closed and there are times to yell. This is one of these occasions.

In the name of the sweet and suffering Christ Almighty what is wrong with ye over there?  How is it even remotely possible that a significant number of the citizens of your mighty and well-educated nation have created a political climate which sees Sarah Palin emerging as the most likely Republican choice to contest the upcoming presidential election?

Has the world gone mad? Has America gone madder still? Are there Irish Americans out there supporting Palin?

What right has an Irishman living at home to make any comment on domestic politics in America?  I have every right.

Your president is not just the president of the United States and the most powerful man in the world. He is also the leader of the free world and, as such, his international strategies and policies impinge powerfully on all our lives and futures.

We here are involved whether or not we like it. If your great nation shivers we catch double pneumonia.
Your Lehman Brothers crisis, for example, saw our banks go down the tubes and begin a recession from which we will not emerge for years. Ye have sufficient resources to survive the worst and begin a recovery.

We palpably do not and accordingly have had to grovel with our begging bowl before the IMF and the
European Central Bank.

Whatever one thinks about Barack Obama's term in office to date, it is certainly true that the election of a black man to the White House represented the bright and free and enlightened facet of the American Dream.
Incredibly, on the other hand, the soaring popularity of Sarah Palin reflects the exact opposite. I saw her on TV the other evening. She was appropriately dressed as a Hell's Angel for God's sake!
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I ask one fundamental question. Would you elect this woman to be the most powerful person in the world and to be, as president, in charge of the black box with the red button that loosens your atomic arsenal? Would you?

At the redneck level where she wholly and properly belongs, were she a candidate for election to my town
council I would probably vote for her. Just for the craic and excitement she would harmlessly generate around the parish pump. But certainly not for any higher office.

We probably need a redneck element in the lower political levels to keep the pot boiling and officials on their toes. And for the entertainment value.

But the White House?  In charge of the red button!!!!!! It's insane.

Are ye so close to the media feeding frenzy that ye cannot see the wood for the trees? Is it not true that this dangerous fundamentalist who seems to appeal only to the lowest common denominator of American society was totally destroyed and exposed after Senator John McCain plucked her from the frozen obscurity where she properly belongs in the last election?

Is it not true that she made an idiot of herself time and again during that campaign? She was expected to have some grasp of world affairs and realities and she had not. She had not even a passport.

In the debate between the vice presidential candidates, which I watched, the less than stellar Joe Biden wiped the floor with her.

In about any European democracy Sarah Palin would have disappeared back into her redneck obscurity in Alaska -- maybe shooting wolves from helicopters – after her political hammering. She hindered McCain rather than helped him.

But, amazingly, her profile has soared since.  How can that be?

She wrote a book called Going Rogue which sold millions, she got a slot on Fox News, she effectively generated this far right Tea Party, she commands thousands of dollars per speech on the redneck circuit.

She is now running a campaign-style bus tour through all of Redneckia and garbing herself as a Hell's Angel while successfully driving herself towards the Republican nomination without even officially announcing her candidacy. She is playing back country games with all of you and fooling a remarkably high percentage of the population.

Think, for God's sake, of a possible day in the future when the president of the United States, dressed in leathers, miffed by some family or political dispute, is sitting in the Oval Office within feet of that black box with the red button...