Paul ?Mr. Weinermobile? Ryan has stepped up to the Veepstakes plate and taken a few tentative swings at his opponents. Of course, the punditocracy has already decided the election is now a dead solid Republican landslide or Democratic landslide or a wash, depending on their point of view for the next three minutes or when George Stephanopoulos asks an embarrassing question?whichever comes first.
It?s far too early for reasonable predictions and anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool or, well, a fool. However, there are some interesting details that may or may not be important in the end. Here is one of them:
Arch-Aynrandist Ryan is stepping away from his beloved Ayn (pronounced ?eye-n? for the uncrapulists among you). This is particularly surprising since Ryan claims Ayn led him down the garden path of individualistic objectivism with the aplomb of Jerry Sandusky pied pipering little boys to his basement.
In an ABC interview, Ryan professed his deep love, ?I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are. It inspired me so much that it?s required reading in my office for all interns and my staff.?
?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. And the fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism vs. collectivism.?
It sounds like Ryan frenching Sarah Palin?s lipsticked pig – any more tongue and we?d all choke on a river of pig spittle.
?If devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking,? Rand wrote.
Ryan has spent many a year in a zero-reflection bubble. He is not given to ?greater, nobler, more heroic thinking?, despite his position in the pantheon of Great Republican Thinkers like New Gingrich.
Ryan?s heroic thinking is blind to the notion that objectivism, or believing you?re out for yourself and to hell with everyone else, is as flawed as Stalin shipping the peasants off to the collective (or cemetery should you have looked askance on his perfection).
He also missed the whole Atheist thing. He deluded himself into thinking he had carte blanche for a mixed-faith marriage with the beautiful Ayn. Not seeing the ascendancy of the American fundamentalist Taliban was a tough one to miss. It doesn?t say much about the perception he needs to be effective as the world?s most superfluous back-up leader.
So as a politician, his go-to move is to walk Ayn back. In National Review Ryan said, ?I reject her philosophy. It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas,” who believed that man needs divine help in the pursuit of knowledge.” Don’t give me Ayn Rand.?
So there you have it ? refudiation from a changed man. Well, sorta changed. Then again, maybe not changed at all.
He dumped the Atheist angle and even did it by citing a Christian hero. He now supposedly believes man needs divine help in the pursuit of knowledge. However, his divine help seems a bit foggy.
The problem is he continues to be the non-Atheist Randian. He continues to, ?reduce(s) human interactions down to mere contracts.? Decidedly anti-Christian contracts.
Helping your fellow man by lifting him up from poverty or healing the sick are the prime directives of Jesus. Instead, Ryan prefers pushing the impoverished lower and lifting up the rich. He not only neglects to cast the moneychangers out, but gives them a huge bonus for staying put. Maybe that?s where corporations got the idea you must pay big to retain the ?expertise? that got you in a pickle to begin with.
His health care ideas don?t do much for the sick either. He wants to reduce heath care to a corrupt contract where the sick can?t afford healing. Apparently, Jesus must have meant heal only the sick who can afford to be healed.
Did Ryan step back? Only if by stepping back you mean the stepping back Mittens will do from Ryan?s budget ? a budget that he already says agrees with his core principles and one that he does not intend to honestly abandon. He?ll merely couch it in a more palatable pate and move on to a fundraiser with the Koch brothers.
Neither of these men is doing anything that politicians have not done since Fred and Barney powered up the footmobile and scampered off to the drive-in for bronto-bones and beer ? ironically following the anti-Atheist creationist canon that brontos and homo (sapiens) co-existed in Bedrock.
But, that doesn?t make it right. Or honest. Or real. Or any of the other qualities a human with a brain can see of wish for.
It seems that Randism and Anti-Randism are the same thing in the world of Ryan.