It is helpful to remember that Paul Ryan is every bit as big a flip-flopper as Mittens.
As Lawrence O'Donnell's video shows, Congressman Ryan has spent most of his adult life as a proud and fervent acolyte of Ayn Rand.
The atheist, pro-abortion-on-demand-through-the-ninth-month Ayn Rand.
The Ayn Rand who wove her deep contempt for religion and for people of faith into everything she ever wrote.
That Ayn Rand.
Then as his public profile began to grow with the fundamentalist, anti-science, anti-Planned Parenthood teahadist base, he did what any good Fox News Teapublican would do:
Verily I Say Unto Thee
Over at "The New Yorker", Jane Mayer homes in on this enormous breach in Paul Ryan's political armor. First, there are the protestations of eternal love and fidelity:That this nightBefore the kooks crowThrice.
AYN RAND JOINS THE TICKET
Posted by Jane MayerLater, when happy-fun-time is over and dragging her around in public becomes a liability with the people he is trying to impress, comes the breakup.
With the choice of Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney adds more to the Republican ticket than youth, vigor, and the possibility of carrying Wisconsin—he also adds the ghostly presence of the controversial Russian émigré philosopher and writer Ayn Rand.
Although she died thirty years ago, Rand’s influence appears on the rise on the right. As my colleague Ryan Lizza noted in his terrific biographical Profile of Ryan, Rand’s works were an early and important influence on him, shaping his thinking as far back as high school. Later, as a Congressman, Ryan not only tried to get all of the interns in his congressional office to read Rand’s writing, he also gave copies of her novel “Atlas Shrugged” to his staff as Christmas presents, as he told the Weekly Standard in 2003.
Two years later, in 2005, Ryan paid fealty to Rand in a speech he gave to the Atlas Society, the Washington-based think tank devoted to keeping Rand’s “objectivist” philosophy alive. He credited her with inspiring his interest in public service...
First, he stops returning her phone calls. Then he avoids her at the annual Galt's Gulch Anti-Christmas, Religion-is-for-Mentally-Ill-Parasites Party
More recently, however, Ryan distanced himself from Rand, whose atheism is something of a philosophical wedge issue on the right, dividing religious conservatives from free-market libertarians. This year, with his political profile rising, Ryan stressed not only that he had differences with Rand’s atheism—a point he had made as far back as 2003—but went so far as to denounce her whole system of beliefs, describing his early attraction to her writing as little more than a youthful dalliance. He admitted that he had “enjoyed her novels,” but, as Mak notes, he stressed that, “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 AquinasThe craven Mr. Ryan has downgraded Ayn Rand -- once the love of Mr. Ryan's ideological life -- to nothing more than a clingy weirdo with whom he once had a little strange on the side; a political embarrassment to be heaved under the bus the minute she became an inconvenience.
In Republican-speak this is known as "Pulling a Gingrich".
To the "driftglass is bashing atheists!" persons in the comment section, point to me please where in this post I bash atheists.
I have correctly described the opinions and beliefs of Ayn Rand as she opined and believed them.
I have pointed out that Ayn Rand's stated beliefs and opinions are diametrically opposed to the beliefs and opinions of the fundamentalist Republican Base which Mr. Ryan is now trying to court.
Have at it, and if you find my voice bashing atheists in this post I will happily issue a public apology.
OTOH, if it turns out that this is a product of your imagination, I reserve the right to hang you out as a pinata and to add the phrase "those thin-skinned, chimera-chasing atheists" to my public vocabulary :-)
Yours in Christ,