Paul Ryan wonders: Who is John Galt?
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  • Paul Ryan wonders: Who is John Galt?

Look, Atlas Shrugged wasn’t that bad. I read it twice. I enjoyed its protagonists Dagny Taggart and whatshisname, Hank Rearden, doing battle against the leeches and the moochers and so forth. Atlas Shrugged is entertaining in the way that certain films—Legally Blonde, say—are entertaining, in that they provide humanlike characters in a plot that maintains at least a remote connection to reality: a following of the first name-last name convention, for instance, or the fact that both texts (LOL) are set in the United States, an extant country in North America. Beyond that lies trouble, as everybody on the Internet pointed out this past weekend following Mitt Romney’s (ahem) fingering of Paul Ryan, a big-time Rand fan, as presumptive VP pick. The trouble with Ryan is that he’s an ideas guy, and there’s nothing so oxymoronic as a conservative ideas guy—the type of person for whom Ayn Rand constitutes a “thinker” and not a caricature of an extremely tedious wack-job. Ryan urges interns to read Ayn Rand, which, if you want a measure of our national legislature’s moral bankruptcy, is not even the worst offense that congresspersons have committed against their intern charges.