If Fianna Fáil wants to rebrand itself, from the party that wrecked the housing industry to the party that helps revive it, it should enter government with Sinn Féin.
Since the extent of the Sinn Féin surge in the election became apparent, a number of Fianna Fáil TDs have bullishly insisted Mary Lou McDonald can easily form a left-wing government.
"[McDonald] and the left-leaning parties should get together, form a government, find the €22bn and off they go," huffed Barry Cowen, in an interview with this newspaper.
Speaking on RTÉ's 'Claire Byrne Live', Thomas Byrne declared "between [McDonald] and the other parties, they have a majority" and "that's probably where the thing has to go at this point".
This shouldn't have to be spelled out, but Sinn Féin secured 37 seats, the Green Party 12, Labour six, the Social Democrats six and Solidarity People Before Profit five, making a grand total of 66 - a good deal below the majority number of 80.
Fianna Fáil TDs, who assert McDonald can lead a left-wing coalition, are conveniently omitting the State's fourth biggest 'party' from their calculations, Independent TDs who won 21 seats.
There are six left-leaning Independents. In the event all of them came on board, the grand 'left' coalition rises to 72 - still not enough to guarantee legislation, or budgets, can be passed.
Even if the arms of other Independent TDs could be twisted and deals done to secure their support, how stable could a government comprised of five separate parties and 14 Independents really be?
How could an administration that precarious and fragmented credibly hope to tackle the hugely serious issues this country faces in housing and health?
Fianna Fáil has had an appalling election and lost TDs and staff. It is understandable its members are reeling and need time to process the full implications of the electorate's decision.
But glibly responding "let Mary Lou at it" - the subtext being "nothing to do with us" - when asked about government formation sounds petty and bitter. Fianna Fáil may be smarting at the result, but McDonald cannot conjure left-wing TDs from the ether to join her in government.
Everyone in Leinster House has to work with the hand the electorate dealt them and it is difficult to fathom a government other than Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil, joined by the Greens or the Social Democrats or Labour, as the eventual outcome.
Fianna Fáil could refuse to work with Sinn Féin. That is the party's prerogative. Instead, it could try to form a government with Fine Gael and some of the other small parties or Independents.
But in an election in which voters resoundingly expressed a desire for change, how wise would it be for Fianna Fáil to instead deliver more of the same? If it were to go down that route - leaving Sinn Féin, the party that won the popular vote, as the main opposition - it would be signing its own political death warrant.
If Fianna Fáil refuses to do a deal with either Fine Gael or Sinn Féin, the prospect of another election looms large. Does the party really want to embark on a second election campaign so soon after this devastating result?
Sinn Féin candidates had nearly 120,000 surplus votes in Saturday's election, which predominantly went to other left-wing parties. In any subsequent election, the party would field many more candidates and likely secure a lot more seats.
Sinn Féin would also be able to go back to the people on the basis that Fianna Fáil's intransigence meant it needed a bigger mandate to ensure its policies could be implemented, and it is entirely possible its share of the vote could increase.
For Fianna Fáil, this is what is called a rock and a hard place. Micheál Martin definitively ruled out coalition with Sinn Féin before the election on two grounds: moral questions about the party's links to "external forces", or shadowy figures, and incompatible policies when it comes to the State's finances.
But that was then and this is now, and if a large cohort of the electorate has decided to trust Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil could also make that leap. The parties' proposals on housing, the requirement to build 100,000 public homes and tax credit for renters, are very similar. The only real divergence is a rent freeze and SSIA scheme for first-time buyers. On health, both parties are committed to Sláintecare.
Taxation policy when it comes to business would be trickier to navigate, but it shouldn't be beyond the wit of negotiators to come to some form of compromise.
If Fianna Fáil is looking for lessons on how best to do a reverse ferret, it could follow the smell of burning tyres wafting from the headquarters of business lobby group Ibec after it engaged in a screeching U-turn yesterday.
Before the election, Ibec chief executive Danny McCoy warned Sinn Féin's economic policies could have "grave implications" for Ireland's business model. Yesterday, having suddenly warmed to our new political reality, McCoy told the 'Irish Times' businesses would "absolutely" be able to work with Sinn Féin and its policies were "not that mad" after all.
Even former Fine Gael MEP and current head of Ireland's biggest banking lobby group, Brian Hayes, was sanguine about the prospect of Sinn Féin in government. People should be "relaxed", he said, as suggestions of an increased risk to business from a Sinn Féin administration were "exaggerated".
If bankers and business can get on board, why not Fianna Fáil? There are certainly risks for the party from any coalition but the rewards could be huge.
For many voters, Fianna Fáil is indelibly associated with the crash that destroyed the economy and precipitated a decade of austerity. Entering a confidence and supply agreement with Fine Gael did nothing to rehabilitate its image.
But if Fianna Fáil was part of a government that actually lived up its commitments to voters by addressing the crises in housing and health, and improving the quality of life for families, it could write a new chapter in the party's story.
Any incoming government would have to take radical action and make difficult decisions, but the problems the country faces are not insurmountable if the political will to deal with them is there.
Fianna Fáil is at a crossroads. It can slink off to lick its wounds, gripe about an inconclusive result and eventually precipitate a new election. Or it can roll up its sleeves, opt to work with the TDs the people have elected and try to improve the lives of everyone who lives on this island.
The people voted for change. Fianna Fáil can either tell them they were wrong or help deliver it. The decision is up to them.