[Ed. – This is hilarious. Every now and then, something like this surfaces that seems to come from, oh, the 1970s or before. The author, Van Gosse, seems to feel that the “Irish Catholics” in the U.S. have lost touch with their more rightful heritage of being (N.B.: my characterization) stooges to a Democratic machine. I think the short answer to his implied question is that nobody thinks that way anymore. A longer, more meditative answer might involve the life story of Ronald Reagan, who had an Irish Catholic, registered-Democrat father but ended up embracing the Protestantism of his equally Irish mother, and becoming a Republican icon in later life. Oh — and Erin go bragh. (H/t: Alex Griswold, WFB)]
What happened to Irish America, that closed, intense world I know mainly from movies and books? How could I make sense of its drying up and blowing away, unmourned?
Here’s one version of its disappearance. At some point since 2000, I noticed that the right-wing chorus pontificating from screens in bars and shops was filled by men with names like Hannity, O’Reilly, and Buchanan. Nobody else seemed to care, so I let it go as one of those oddities that interested only me.
Then came Bannon’s ascension as Trump’s eminence grise , and it seemed impossible to ignore. This can’t be accidental. Why have these white men come to the fore, rather than a more multicultural Catholic cohort —a Pole, an Italian, a German, and so on?
The origins of the sneering, baiting, biting style of O’Reilly et al are obvious. All of them can be traced to Joe McCarthy’s rise to stardom, propelled by his gift for lurid innuendo and theatrical outrage.