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      I'm just sorry Ayn Rand isn't around to see the fruit of her labors. The modern conservative movement is crafting a bizarro-world remake of Atlas Shrugged. (Modern conservative - now there's an oxymoron! But I digress.) They keep getting the villains mixed up with the so-called good guys.

Those economists selling out are a lot like the physicist Dr. Robert Stadler making the same kind of choice. Then there was Rush Limbaugh trying to respond to the Romney-Hood tag by trying to portray Romney as the real Robin Hood hero - except Rand treated Robin Hood and the idea of taking from the rich to give to the poor as an idea she was trying to stamp out - the root of all that was wrong with the world!

For the handful of 'noble' creator industrialists in Atlas Shrugged as the good guys, Rand had a horde of looter types whose whole modus operandi was to come in, run companies into the ground while gutting them, and them moving on. Sounds an awful lot like the business model of Bain Capital, doesn't it?

The ultimate irony is that the party that worships Ayn Rand and her supposedly rational philosophy of Objectivism has picked for their standard bearer a man whose campaign is based on  lie after lie. A is A - except when it's B or C, or maybe W. (Oh wait a minute - W has been erased from history.)

And now as I type this, I learn Romney is tapping Paul Ryan for VP. Truth IS stranger than fiction - fiction has to make sense.  Ryan's attraction for Conservatives (aka True Believers, an odd appellation for so-called objectivists) is that he's somehow convinced massive tax cuts, massive cuts to government programs will somehow balance the budget and revive the economy.... That actually works only as long as no one puts real numbers into his proposals or looks too hard at the cuts he'd make. Goodbye Medicare, Social Security, hello even bigger tax cuts for the rich and deficits exploding like Mr. Creosote in "The Meaning of Life."

         Romney's Cognitive Dissonance Campaign is truly getting desperate. He can't lie fast enough or convincingly enough to win over the true believers in the base, a base which is purging everyone with any sense or moderation. Ryan is a long time worshipper of Ayn Rand, but he's the antithesis of everything Rand supposedly championed in the way of fact-based reasoning heroes - except for a rock-hard resistance to self-doubt. He tells the faithful what they want to hear, which is why a flailing candidate seeking traction is so eager to embrace him.

       There's parallel from history that comes to mind. It's not the first time a cultish figure has come out of nowhere into the circles of power, claiming mystic wisdom that can not be questioned, offering hope to clueless would-be rulers...

Note the steely gaze fixed on things no one else can see, the same square-jawed determination, the same air of implacable certainty...
     The truly 'entertaining' part of this fiasco is going to be watching the press trying to keep up the pretense that Romney and Ryan are actually credible candidates to lead anything except a traveling medicine show peddling miracle cures.

     There was some painful discussion at NPR's All Things Considered the other day between Melissa Block, E.J. Dionne, and Linda Chavez about the nastiness in attack ads lately. Aside from the usual stab at false equivalency, they got perilously close to realizing the truth when they were talking about Romney's problem - appealing to the base of the Republican Party while still remaining attractive to moderates and independents. They were this close to admitting the Republican Party no longer has anything in common with the rest of America, that it's become an extremist cult - but they managed to avoid it.

      Ah well, if you want some schadenfreude, listen to the audio (no transcript yet) where they speculate on who Romney will pick for Vice President. It's comedy gold now.

        The Democratic Party has a real gift here, if only they will take it up and run with it. Between Romney's tone-deaf One Percenter Poster Boy cluelessness, and Ryan's documented embrace of truly bad ideas, it ought to be possible to finally peel away the saintly visage of Ronald Reagan from the Republican Party to reveal the ugly truth beneath - the greed, the selfishness, the moral bankruptcy.


Ryan as Rasputin:

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