NOTHING better illustrates the bog trotting antics of Enda Kenny than his response to Donald Trump’s surprise victory.
Up to last week, our Taoiseach considered Trump to be ‘racist and dangerous.’ But, hey presto, on the day that Trump won the US presidential election, Enda experienced a life-changing event in which his views were significantly altered.
A strange force filled him, possibly driven by supernatural or divine means, and what it revealed was this: Mr Trump wasn’t a nasty specimen after all!
So, thanks to a mind-blowing blast of enlightenment that enabled Kenny to change his mind, Trump (at least from the Irish government’s perspective) was no longer a foul-mouthed bully. And, continued our Taoiseach, Trump’s comments could not be considered racist or dangerous because they were uttered ‘in the heat of battle.’
Whether or not Kenny is pudding-headed is a matter for analysts with an unconventional interest in the weirdness of Irish political life. It is hardly a topic for ’umble folk like us who prefer to see Enda Kenny in the mould of great Irish heroes and heroines like Oliver Plunkett, the Croppy Boy, the man who broke the Bank of Monte Carlo, Robert Emmet and the entire Cork camogie team of 2016. They, like Enda, suffered for their beliefs!
Because, let’s face it, Mr Kenny has been on the receiving end of rough treatment. Last June, for instance, Fianna Fail’s Micheál Martin goaded him horribly in the Dáil. The Soldier of Destiny wanted our Taoiseach to ‘stand up for some basic principles’ and to tell Trump that the Ireland found his racism disgusting.
Egg on face
But Mr Kenny gave Mr Martin short shrift. In no uncertain terms, he told the Fianna Fáiler that he was ready at any time of day or night to inform the now American president-elect that Irish people found his views abhorrent. Our admiration for Dame Enda immediately went through the roof.
‘Good on ya,’ we roared, until we remembered that Kenny would have to wait for the auld bowl of shamrock event on March 17th before the opportunity to rebuke Trump in a formal and official way would arise.
In the meantime Mr Kenny was treading on eggshells. For instance, before the presidential election, and in the privacy of a FG parliamentary party meeting, Charlie Flanagan strongly advised him to desist from making disparaging remarks about Trump in case a miracle happened and the chap won the presidential race. Which is what happened.
So, let’s bear in mind that Enda’s ‘heat of battle’ explanation was the product of exceptional circumstances and was, well, kinda alright, considering that no one expected Trump to win the election.
Yet, ‘the heat of battle’ clarification did not convince anyone, although it was an open and sincere turn of phrase. It gave the impression that our Taoiseach hadn’t a clue what he was talking about. What’s more, a runny egg could be perceived trickling down the noble features of our hapless leader, such was his embarrassment!
In response, we say this to Enda: Don’t worry. Of all the FG politicos it is you who best overcomes adversity, even when you’re inaccurate, mistaken, woefully incorrect, propagating false information and morally offensive!
We also advise him not to pay attention to Leftie Ruth Coppinger TD. Last week, she too relentlessly questioned Mr Kenny, demanding to know when he would inform the US president-elect that his views were disgustingly racist. She went on to say: ‘Taoiseach, I ask you that, rather than sending congratulations to Donald Trump, this country would prefer if we sent sympathy and support to every single person of colour, every immigrant, every LGBT person, every Muslim and of course every woman in America who is in danger of Trump acting out some of his policies.’
Quite rightly, our Taoiseach didn’t pay much attention to her. Expertly weaving and dodging, he reminded the country that his government would be pleased to work with Mr Trump on the peace process in the North. While Mr Kenny was admirable in its intention, the nation was somewhat befuddled at the connection between the peace process and Trump’s obscenities!
Mr Kenny, of course, was not the only politico to be caught on the hop. So too was FF leader, Micheál Martin! Warning us that Trump would be an ‘appalling example as leader of the free world,’ Martin was convinced (like everyone else) that Mrs Clinton would win the election.
Hence his preoccupation with what he considered the most serious danger facing the world: Russia! Specifically he was concerned at the increasing support Russia seemed to have in Dáil Eireann – not just from the grubby-shirted Leftie contingent but from the much more ‘ominous’ Sinn Féin, which he suggested might be part of what he called a sinister ‘pro-Russian alliance.’
He accused Mr Adams of being soft on Putin and of stupidly ignoring the threat posed by ‘an imperial bullying Russia.’ In fact, the Corkman earned a bit of a reputation as an old-fashioned ‘No Reds Under the Bed’ campaigner.
But here’s the rub: President-elect Trump is not a Russia-basher and he does not disguise his admiration for Vladimir Putin. Having been impressed by his criticism of NATO and by his comment that the US might not come to the aid of NATO allies if they were attacked (Trump even recommended bringing US troops home from foreign engagements), Putin was among the first to congratulate him on his presidential victory.
For his part Trump described Putin as “his best new friend”. In fact Trump already is terrifying the junta running Ukraine – that blood-curdling invention of Pat Cox (!), the EU and Obama. Its government has warned Europe that Trump could throw them under the bus in favour of improved ties with Russia.
In other words Trump’s warm relationship with Putin has serious global consequences –including for someone like Micheál Martin whom we expect to engage seriously in rapid backpedalling if his party is to take advantage of the circumstances (never mind the principles) of a dramatically changed America and of a president who wants close ties with Russia.
Threat to Cork
To make matters worse, Martin has nothing to say regarding Trump’s strategy of ‘bringing the jobs back home.’ Yet in his South Central backyard are 5,000 Apple jobs (another 1,000 Apple jobs are in the pipeline) and, if they are relocated to the US, then the Real Capital will be in a most unfortunate situation.
Trump, we suspect does not forgive or forget and, should he trigger an Apple pullout, he’ll leave the FF man up the creek without a paddle. In other words, because of the comment that Trump was unsuitable for ‘leadership of the free world’ the consequences might well signal au revoir to Mickey’s political career!