'Every saint has a past and every sinner a future" - Oscar Wilde could never have known one of his quotes would come to articulate the political landscape a century after his passing. And yet here we are.
Fianna Fáil was not rewarded for its saintly role in the outgoing minority Fine Gael government. Far from it. And Sinn Féin is no longer ostracised for the sins of its fathers.
As the political establishment endeavours to come to terms with the new landscape, Fianna Fáil finds itself in an extraordinary position. Boxed into a corner by a myriad of its own stratagems, everything is still to play for as Micheál Martin continues his attempt to become taoiseach.
If he fails, he will suffer the agony and ignominy of becoming the first Fianna Fáil leader not to hold the office of An Taoiseach. A particularly painful prospect given his valiant exertions to deliver a reawakening of the Solders of Destiny.
Fianna Fáil's vote share has not improved since 2016. Mr Martin may well have been exactly the right person at the right time to keep Fianna Fáil alive. But he has not yet transformed it into a new, energetic, forward-thinking political party. In Election 2020 at least, Fianna Fáil simply didn't deliver the dynamism to drive social issues. Neither did it differentiate itself from Fine Gael.
Mr Martin and his team deserve credit for successfully halting the demise of the party, pushing it back to a credible alternative to Fine Gael for the first time since 2007. However, confidence and supply as a practical political solution to a fragmented Dáil did not work for Fianna Fáil. It was a calculated gamble that has not paid off. The casualties of the tactic are the TDs who lost seats - and the candidates who will now never hold them.
The Fianna Fáil strategy in the minority government arrangement was to do nothing overtly imaginative from a policy perspective. Instead, it chose to stay below the radar until the electorate tired of Fine Gael.
Fianna Fáil could have employed these four years to formulate and articulate alternative solutions to significant social problems. Instead, it allowed Sinn Féin and others to paint it as a bit-part player in a recovering economy, while ignoring a failing health system and a housing crisis. Why it did not engage with the issues more aggressively and consistently remains a mystery.
One possible explanation is that behind the scenes in Fianna Fáil, there have been many dark nights of the soul. Recriminations, and rifts we did not see.
Beyond the confidence and supply arrangement, many will look to the Election 2020 campaign itself for reasons why Fianna Fáil failed to make any significant seat gains.
Its campaign was mediocre and inoffensive. Probably a deliberate approach by party strategists to dispel any notion of past bombast or hubris. The result was a campaign which lacked imagination. But the central issue was that it should have kicked off four years ago.
For political parties, election campaigns should only be viewed as the final act of a stage play. The campaign is a conclusion of a much greater set piece, merely another platform to present an entirely exaggerated version of itself. Well-rehearsed in advance, all the key players should be presented, prepared and scripted for the full glare of all the media lights to grab the attention of the voting audience for the finale.
In the full glare of an election campaign and in a modern media landscape, it is only the big, bold, and downright grandiose endeavours which have any hope of being noticed. Give the audience what they want. Sinn Féin did that well, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil did not.
Micheál Martin and Fianna Fáil presented an almost one-man show. It was another risky manoeuvre which risked boring the audience and wearing out the artist. The rest of the team in Fianna Fáil never materialised from the wings, compounding the Fine Gael charge that there was no Fianna Fáil team.
Once all of the results are concluded, it is imperative that Fianna Fáil regroups and reflects on its failures as well as its successes. Not just in the campaign but long before it even began.
The final government picture may not evolve for days or even weeks. Maybe it's a grand Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael opposition coalition.
A return to any umbilical arrangement with Fine Gael would deepen the disaster of the confidence and supply arrangement for Fianna Fáil. Further paralysing policy and legislation, it would also critically allow Sinn Féin a free rein at opposition, affording it another seat-gaining spin on the merry-go-round.
For Mr Martin to walk away from his pledge to not go into government with Sinn Féin would be epic, politically and personally. From a position of principle, one wonders how he might resolve questions over Sinn Féin's democratic structures, not to mention its economic policies.
However, as we know, the path to government is littered with politicians reversing their positions. Former Taoiseach John Bruton in 1994 vowed never to enter government with Democratic Left - three weeks later he was at the cabinet table with that party.
The electorate did not care for Leo Varadkar's promise of a better future. Nor do they care about Sinn Féin's past.
Fianna Fáil must now do a bit more soul-searching, all the while reminding itself of some more words from Wilde: "No good deed goes unpunished."
Mandy Johnston is a former government press secretary for Fianna Fáil