Oops. That was awkward. I hit "publish" instead of "draft" and promptly ran out the door, coming back to find an unfinished product sitting out in public view. But since it's already out there, I'll correct my spelling and finish my sentences and leave it up.
What I had planned to do was amend it to focus more on Robert Costa's very interesting two-page interview with Rep. Ryan. I used a bit of that below, but there's much more to it, so go ahead and read it in preparation for today's Georgetown speech, if you're so inclined. (I was also going to work in something about Ryan being my first choice for VP. We can save that for another time, I guess.)
Marc Thiessen refutes a lefty bishop's ignorant, inappropriate critique of the Ryan budget:
Using Obama’s campaign rhetoric, Bishop Stephen Blaire, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, recently wrote to Congress declaring that Ryan’s budget “fails to meet [the Church’s] moral criteria” because it does not require “shared sacrifice,” which Blaire [like Obama] defines as tax increases and cuts to “unnecessary” defense spending. Some of the proposed spending cuts in Ryan’s budget, Blaire said, are “unjust and wrong.”I consider that a negative, but that's beside the point for the moment. George Weigel notes:
Blaire has it backward. What is “unjust and wrong” is this bishop’s attack on a good Catholic layman.
Put aside for a moment the fact that “shared sacrifice” appears nowhere in the catechism of the Catholic Church. It is a reelection slogan for the Democratic Party. Put aside, as well, the fact that the bishop of Stockton, Calif., has near-zero competence to judge what military spending is necessary or unnecessary. The fact is Ryan’s budget does not cut spending at all — it simply slows the growth of spending. As Ryan explained in an interview on the Catholic Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), “our budget increases annual spending by 3 percent a year instead of the president’s proposal to go to 4 ½ percent a year.”
Paul Ryan is the Catholic left’s worst nightmare and his demonization from that quarter has just begun. Ryan is a big boy, though, and he’ll fight his corner well. That argument might even lead to some consensus about empowerment-based anti-poverty strategies and fiscally responsible social welfare policies among serious Catholics of both political parties.The smart, articulate, principled, and likable Ryan, who is better educated than Obama but lacks the pomposity and pretensions, also scares the bejeebers out of the secular left. Hence their silly stories. Below, Rep. Ryan pushes back against allegations that he's an avid disciple of Ayn Rand:
Paul Krugman, the New York Times columnist, recently called Ryan “an Ayn Rand devotee” who wants to “slash benefits for the poor.” New York magazine once alleged that Ryan “requires staffers to read Atlas Shrugged,” Rand’s gospel of capitalism. President Obama has blasted the Ryan budget as Republican “social Darwinism.” [. . .]He's making a speech at Georgetown today. If we have time later on, we'll compare it to the mendacious claptrap offered up by Obama in his May 2009 "Be a lighthouse and a crossroads" [thunk] speech.
“I, like millions of young people in America, read Rand’s novels when I was young. I enjoyed them,” Ryan says. “They spurred an interest in economics, in the Chicago School and Milton Friedman,” a subject he eventually studied as an undergraduate at Miami University in Ohio. “But it’s a big stretch to suggest that a person is therefore an Objectivist.”
“I reject her philosophy,” Ryan says firmly. “It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas,” who believed that man needs divine help in the pursuit of knowledge. “Don’t give me Ayn Rand,” he says.
Ryan enjoys bantering about dusty novels, but it’s not really his bailiwick. Philosophy, he tells me, is critical, but politics is about more than armchair musing. “This gets to the Jack Kemp in me, for the lack of a better phrase,” he says — crafting public policy from broad ideas. “How do you produce prosperity and upward mobility?” he asks. “How do you attack the root causes of poverty instead of simply treating its symptoms? And how do you avoid a crisis that is going to hurt the vulnerable the most — a debt crisis — from ever happening?”
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