Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., darling of the pro-rich, pro-corporate radical right, has won the admiration of Republicans nationwide as a principled champion of the laissez-faire capitalism and Robinhood-in-reverse public policies they favor — not coincidentally, the policies that favor so many of them.
As chairman of the House Budget Committee Ryan has burnished his reputation as an unapologetic economic Darwinist with a budget plan that would destroy Medicare as we know it, drastically cut Medicaid and food programs for the poorest Americans, and do incalculable long-term damage to public education, K-college.
Ryan’s budget doubles down on the worst of Bush-era policies that can be succinctly described as rewarding the rich for being rich while punishing the rest for not being rich.
In an overdue but welcome development, some Catholics have called out Ryan for advancing policies that promote not the compassionate values exemplified in Christ’s life and teachings, but the greed-is-good, “we’re all in this apart” rot dispensed by author Ayn Rand. And, Ryan himself has lionized Rand in word and deed.
That is, until fellow Catholics called him out for preaching the false gospel of his beloved goddess of greed. When that happened, this Republican champion of “I got mine, you get yours, devil take the hindmost” took the coward’s way out: he lied.
Not that his lying will do him any good, as MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell points out with damning effect.
Trying to base budgetary policy on idealized notions about selfishness being both a personal and public virtue is as unchristian as it is perverse. Idolizing a neurotic, morally bankrupt hag because she espoused and romanticized that kind of thing is sick.
But what should keep anyone of any political persuasion from affording Ryan even a shred of credibility or respect is how, when challenged by members of his faith, Ryan went weak in the knees and sought to lie his way out of a glaring conflict of moral interest.
Ryan either lacks the courage of his perverse convictions or he’s just one more dishonest political hero of the far right with feet of clay.
Wisconsin voters are busy taking out the trash this year. We hope for their sake and the nation’s that they will see to it Ryan’s regrettable career in Congress comes to an abrupt end.