JONATHAN CHAIT JUNE 6, 2011
Regular readers of this blog know that I've taken a, er, healthy interest between Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand, who Ryan has credited as his inspiration for getting into politics, and whom he continues to tout. I think Rand explains a great deal about Ryan's worldview, of course. But I'm also fascinated with the politics of it. Rand was a crackpot, a hateful and ignorant cult leader. You don't see leading members of Congress openly touting the genius of Lyndon LaRouche. How can a Rand devotee attain such political influence?
Amy Sullivan reports that one left-wing religious group is going after Ryan on the basis of his devotion to Rand:
I don't consider Rand's contempt for Christianity the nuttiest thing about her, though the basis for her contempt -- that Christianity promotes compassion -- is fairly sick. But it's surely a potent fact. It will be interesting to see if the American Values Network raises enough money to really get its ad some circulation, and whether it sticks.