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Thursday, January 31, 2013

• • • The other high-profile Ayn Rand acolyte 
,
Atlas Shrugged  |Paul Ryan  |Ron Johnson  |Video  | When we think about high-profile members of Congress who seem to enjoy Ayn Rand and Objectivism a little too much, we tend to focus on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). It is, after all, the failed vice presidential candidate who credits Rand for inspiring his political career and who required his interns to read "Atlas Shrugged."

But while Ryan has begun distancing himself from his Objectivist allies, and his boosters have characterized his time as a Rand acolyte as "an embarrassing past flirtation," Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) isn't embarrassed at all [...].

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

• • • The model of an Ayn Rand acolyte 
,
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  |Video  | Last week, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the right-wing chairman of the House Budget Committee, scoffed at the notion that he’s an acolyte of Ayn Rand. “I reject her philosophy,” Ryan said, adding he prefers Thomas Aquinas’ philosophy. He concluded, “Don’t give me Ayn Rand.” This led me, among others, to note some of Ryan’s previous comments on the infamous author, including the congressman’s famous boast, “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.” But what else has Ryan said about Rand?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

• • • The model of an Ayn Rand acolyte 
,
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  |Video  | Last week, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the right-wing chairman of the House Budget Committee, scoffed at the notion that he’s an acolyte of Ayn Rand. “I reject her philosophy,” Ryan said, adding he prefers Thomas Aquinas’ philosophy. He concluded, “Don’t give me Ayn Rand.” This led me, among others, to note some of Ryan’s previous comments on the infamous author, including the congressman’s famous boast, “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.” But what else has Ryan said about Rand?

Monday, April 30, 2012

• • • Ryan reverses course on Rand 
,
Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |Paul Ryan  |Video  | For years, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the right-wing chairman of the House Budget Committee, has been widely described as an Ayn Rand acolyte, best known for assigning “Atlas Shrugged” to members of his staff. Now, however, the Republican lawmaker finds humor in his reputation. “You know you’ve arrived in politics when you have an urban legend about you, and this one is mine,” Ryan chuckled in an interview with National Review. He added, “I reject her philosophy. It’s an atheist philosophy.” Ryan said he prefers Thomas Aquinas, concluding, “Don’t give me Ayn Rand.” I’ll gladly assume the man is familiar with his own philosophy, but it’s curious to see him distance himself from Rand in this way, especially in light of his apparent preoccupation with her vision.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

 The wrong champion for the safety net 
,
Paul Ryan  | The far-right Ayn Rand acolyte [Paul Ryan] is still at it, arguing in the Wall Street Journal this morning that his right-wing budget plan "strengthens the safety net."

Monday, March 19, 2012

 The details Paul Ryan has forgotten 
,
Paul Ryan  | Ryan’s plan is going to recommend brutal cuts to domestic programs, and he will do his best to say the slashes are necessary because of the “coming debt crisis.” For the Ayn Rand acolyte, these aren’t cuts he wants to make, but rather, they’re cuts he thinks he has to make to prevent a debt-driven disaster. Or so the argument goes.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

 The ‘real drivers of our debt’ 
,
Paul Ryan  | It’d be problematic enough to evaluate [Paul] Ryan on ideology alone — the extremism of this Ayn Rand acolyte is generally under-appreciated. But the problem goes much deeper, as he says things nearly every day that just aren’t true.

Monday, July 11, 2011

 ‘Necessary for the public good’ 
,
Slowly but surely, activists on the right have seemed to try to appropriate the colonial era as their own, as if they — and they alone — are the direct descendents of the Founding Fathers, and they deserve ownership of the revolutionary principles. We’re supposed to believe the leaders of the era were states-rights libertarians, embracing the attitudes of Ayn Rand and Grover Norquist generations before their birth.