““The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.” Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan was just hauled to the cleaners by someone within the Catholic church. I don’t know what happened, but they must have read the riot act to him, to make him reject his great atheist idol – and I use that term as in Numero Dos – #2 of The Ten Big Ones – as in Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods….
Paul Ryan got caught.
We’re talking big-time go to confession, even for Episcopalians when you break this one.
“...Boy, it’s quite the week for Paul Ryan’s pushback against criticism from his co-religionists. First he announced a preference for the metaphysics and epistemology of St. Thomas Aquinas over those of St. Ayn Rand during a friendly interview with National Review. Then he took himself over to Georgetown University to defend the compatibility of his budgetary handiwork with Catholic social teachings, which he certainly felt the need to do after a couple of tongue-lashings from the Bishops and from a large group of Catholic theologians and social services providers….”
For ages, The Pink Flamingo has been telling you that Paul Ryan has a very serious Ayn Rand problem. I’ve also been telling you that anyone who claims to be a Christian cannot be a follower of Rand, who was the inspiration for the Book of Satan.
The Pink Flamingo, unlike many in the GOP, has no use for Paul Ryan. I think, like Eric Cantor, he is arrogant and self-serving. His budget was smoke and mirrors. Newt was almost crucified for speaking out against it, then Ryan himself admitted Newt was right.
Right now, Paul Ryan is in serious trouble. He may not realize it, and you may not realize it, but he just ruined any possibility of ever going beyond his current elected office.
He got caught in one big time whopper of a lie – a huge one.
Wait, I take that back. In Mitt Romney’s version of the GOP (the one where warmed-over Democrats who couldn’t get elected dog-catcher as Democrats now pretend to be Republicans) you can lie, flip-flop, behave arrogantly, and get away with it. No one is interested in holding the elite accountable – and Ryan is one of the blessed, libertarian, elite. Don’t ever think he is not
“…“It doesn’t surprise me that sales of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged have surged lately with the Obama administration coming in because it’s that kind of thinking, that kind of writing, that is sorely needed right now. And I think a lot of people would observe that we are right now living in an Ayn Rand novel, metaphorically speaking. [...] Ayn Rand, more than anyone else, did a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism,the morality of individualism, and this to me is what matters most.”…”
What a bold faced lie.
“…Ryan went so far as to decry his affinity for the book Atlas Shrugged and its author as an “urban legend,” and cites it as proof that he’s “arrived in politics” that a false story is out there circulating about him. He says the association of his name to Rand and her brand of capitalism-as-religion is “inaccurate” and “part of an effort on the left to paint him as a cold-hearted Objectivist.”…”
It is sad, though. He did blow it.
“…Ryan did tell The Weekly Standard in 2003 that he requires all of his staff members to read Rand’s magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged. He conceded, though, that most of them don’t finish it.
Think Progress points to a quote from an article in The New Republic, which has Ryan saying to a group of attendees at a banquet to honor the author, ”The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.”
At the same dinner, Ryan also said that virtually every national struggle our society faces can be boiled down to the Randian binary, “Almost every fight we are involved in here on Capitol Hill … is a fight that usually comes down to one conflict–individualism versus collectivism.”
Ryan is considered a “budget guru” by many in Washington. He has submitted an alternate budget to the president’s 2012 budget plan, which presumptive Republican presidential candidate Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) called “marvelous.” Many on the left have called Ryan’s budget ideas absurd and draconian. Even former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich famously dubbed Ryan’s economic policies “right-wing social engineering.”…”
It’s hard to defend Rand. In National Review, years ago, Whittaker Chambers, at the invitation of the late, great William F. Buckley (remember him?) shredded Rand and anyone who took her work seriously.
Ed Kilgore may be a liberal, but he has this one exactly right.
“...It’s possible, I suppose, that Paul Ryan is a secret “Objectivist” who keeps gold dollar sign pins in his underwear drawer. More likely, though, he doesn’t understand Ayn Rand any better than he seems to understand Catholic social teachings. In either event, his reputation as a deep thinker whose brilliance and good will demand respect from everyone across the political spectrum strikes me as entirely undeserved…”
Kilgore has been following this story about Ryan for ages. He is repeating what Ryan now calls an urban rumor, that he gave his staff copies of Atlas Shrugged. That’s just an urban rumor…. right?
“...You know, much as I dislike the viral adolescent-intoxicating legacy of Ayn Rand—you know, the author of Atlas Shrugged, the book Paul Ryan used to (or for all I know, still does) require his staff to read—at least she had the honesty to disclaim any pity for the poor. Indeed, she called altruism the one great moral abomination, as bad as “looting.” I’d have a lot more respect for Paul Ryan if he loudly and proudly embraced the “virtue of selfishness” himself, and didn’t pretend he wanted to cut food stamps in order to improve the lives of the working poor through some character-building hunger….”
“…Ryan’s theological defenders are having none of that commie nonsense. Weigel argues that subsidiarity is about anti-”statism,” i.e., programs like food stamps, sure, but also like Obamacare, which Weigel charges “flatly contradicts subsidiarity and its principled rejection of vast concentrations of state power—the dangers of which are amply demonstrated by the coercive HHS ‘contraceptive mandate.’” (Hmm, I do recall the Bishops pushing for health care reform, albeit minus imaginary abortion funding.) The days of the “Catholic left,” says Weigel, are over because “four decades of intellectual and political work, coupled with extensive care for women in crisis pregnancies, have made the pro-life cause the cultural marker of serious Catholicism in America.” (emphasis in original).
See that? If you’re pro-choice, you can’t be a “real” Catholic. Therefore, Weigel concludes, Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s (D-CT) request to Cardinal Dolan that the Bishops take a position on the budget should be rejected, because she’s not a “real” Catholic. (Not that members of Congress should be running to the Bishops for their imprimatur on legislation, but both sides have done it over Ryan’s budget.)
Ryan has been making the rounds of late, and again today at Georgetown, arguing that leaving future generations with government debt would be the truly immoral thing to do. He told the Eternal Word Television Network recently, “If we keep growing government in debt, we will crowd out the civil society — those charities, those churches, those institutions in our local communities that do the most to actually have a human touch to help people in need.” (Institutions with a human touch like the Catholic school in Indiana that fired a teacher, a “grave, immoral sinner,” who pursued in vitro fertilization?)
Weigel is channeling not Rand but Ronald Reagan: “what the Church asks of a just society is the empowerment of the poor: breaking the cycle of welfare dependency and unleashing the creativity the Church believes God builds into every human soul.”
And Pete Wehner, in Commentary: “the confusion is that ‘preferential treatment for the poor’ is synonymous with a massive, centralized state. Au contraire. A positive role for government means a limited role for government.”
Paul Ryan and his pals are wrong to try to justify his budget on religious grounds, and his Catholic critics are perfectly justified in protesting attempts to do so. But the Congressional fight over the budget isn’t, or rather shouldn’t be, a theological one. The budget shouldn’t be subject to any religious test, whether it’s Ryan’s or anyone else’s. But I’m afraid we’ve already gone too far down this road, and the debate is shaping up to be one about what “true” Catholic doctrine is. And I can see what the conservatives are aiming for. They think they’ve already won the “real” Catholic litmus test over abortion, and they’d like to impose another one: to be a “real” Catholic, not only do you have to be anti-choice, but you have to be “anti-statist,” too. …”
This one is going to leave a mark.