Saturday, April 28, 2012

Throwing Ayan Rand under the bus

[DISCLAIMER: What follows is a non-story. It is political "inside baseball." It is part of the high-intensity, navel-gazing commentators do because, hell, substantive analysis is way too hard.] Actually, I generally avoid commenting on this stuff because life, mine and yours, is too short. That said, today's non-story perfectly captures the essence of the species known as politician. That's worth a few lines of digital ink. Congressman Paul Ryan, a rising (but empty-suited) Republican star, is (or was) a devoted acolyte of novelist and faux-philosopher Ayn Rand, the author of "Atlas Shrugged." In 2003, Ryan gave out Rand's tome as Christmas presents. In 2005, he said, "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 yesterday, according to New York magazine, Ryan claimed that Ayn Rand's philosophy "reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview." That's a whiplash-inducing 180-degree turn. Amazing, even for a politician. This brought to mind something Robert Crandall, former CEO of American Airlines, once said: "I did not deal well with the politicians. I tend to tell people that when they are full of crap, that they are full of crap." In Ryan's case, there's never a Crandall around when you need one.

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