Talking to various aides on the Hill, I get the sense that Democrats tend to look at Paul Ryan as the kind of Republican they can at least talk to. Unlike so many GOP leaders, the far-right Wisconsinite appears to have read a book and learned how to use a calculator. When he speaks, Ryan tends to use complete sentences, and tends to resist at least some partisan bomb-throwing.Well, thank God for dangerous madmen! The entire basis for Benen's criticism of Ryan is that Ryan has read Atlas Shrugged and requires his staff to read the novel as well. Clearly we are dealing with a real sicko here (Benen, not Ryan).
But there's a catch: the guy is a crackpot. A polite crackpot who, by contemporary Republican standards, takes his beliefs seriously, but a crackpot nevertheless.
Ryan doesn't want to search for common ground with Democrats; he's hopelessly convinced that Democrats are radicals intent on destroying modern capitalism. He considers the very ideas of charity and sacrifice deeply offensive. His entire worldview is so bizarre, it has no meaningful place in the American mainstream.
Matt Yglesias recently noted that Ryan "is a dangerous madman," and the description doesn't seem especially hyperbolic.
Ayn Rand supported individualism and opposed collectivism. Ryan shares these beliefs and therefore, according to Benen, has no meaningful place in the American mainstream. What then does Benen think the "American mainstream" to be? Does he suppose that subjugation of the individual to the group is mainstream?
Benen gives Ryan credit for avoiding partisan bomb-throwing and then he throws a bomb of his own-He considers the very ideas of charity and sacrifice deeply offensive. Really? Care to back that up? Maybe Benen should have written that Ryan finds the very idea of forced charity and sacrifice deeply offensive.
Benen and his ilk have no problem with forced "charity". I rather imagine that is because the pro-collectivists believe that they will be on the side of the enforcers rather than that of the forced. Kindness is for the other guy.
Paul Ryan rattles cages on the Left not because he has read a book and can use a calculator but because he rejects the notion that the individual is beholden to the almighty State. He has a plan, a Roadmap, for freeing the individual from the grip of the State. Paul Ryan speaks out when others, including other Republicans, are silent about the entitlements that are threatening the very survival of this country. Again, thank God for dangerous madmen.