Paul Ryan adores Atlas Shrugged author Ayn Rand, calling her "the reason I got involved in public service." But the feeling wouldn't be mutual, writes Conor Friedersdorf in the Atlantic. First off, the very idea of "public service" is pretty un-Randian: She calls the notion of the "public interest" inherently unfair. And taking a look at his voting record, Rand would likely be dismayed.
He voted for an auto-industry bailout the deeply capitalistic heroes of Atlas Shrugged would scoff at. They wouldn't love his TARP vote, either. And "what line from Ayn Rand's work did Rep. Ryan return to before voting for the prescription drug benefit?" Friedersdorf wonders. In fact, everyone should just calm down about Ryan's Rand fandom: "Neither horrified liberals nor hopeful libertarians should fool themselves into believing that Rep. Ryan would govern America according to the ideals of Ayn Rand." And anyway, Ryan has his own qualms with the author. Click for Friedersdorf's full column.