The Corner

Obama Has Read Ayn Rand

From the new Rolling Stone:


Have you ever read Ayn Rand? Sure.

What do you think Paul Ryan’s obsession with her work would mean if he were vice president? Well, you’d have to ask Paul Ryan what that means to him. Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we’d pick up. Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we’re only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we’re considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity – that that’s a pretty narrow vision. It’s not one that, I think, describes what’s best in America. Unfortunately, it does seem as if sometimes that vision of a “you’re on your own” society has consumed a big chunk of the Republican Party.

As I’ve said a gazillion times, when Obama says that the GOP is promoting a “you’re on your own” society, he’s setting up a false dichotomy. Sure, there’s a few libertarians who would love to abolish the safety net and slash government programs. But that’s not the party platform, or what Romney is setting out to do. Not to mention that plenty of conservatives would rather establish a safety net more concentrated, not in individuals’, but in other types of community: church, clubs, extended family. 

More from the interview:

What has surprised you the most about the Republican campaign this year? What was interesting was the degree to which Governor Romney was willing to embrace the most extreme positions in the Republican Party: on immigration, on environmental issues, on women’s issues and on the economy. Frankly, I think that’s telling when you start thinking about the presidency. If you can’t say no to certain elements of your party, if you don’t have sets of principles that you’re willing to fight for, even if they’re not politically convenient, then you’re gonna have a tough time in this office.

What if Obama had faced Ron Paul or Rick Santorum? If this is your rhetoric against Mitt Romney, what the heck do you have left for those who hold positions even further right?

And Obama’s pretty smug on that Supreme Court ruling:

How do you feel about Justice Roberts’ ruling on the Affordable Care Act? Were you surprised? I wasn’t surprised. I was always confident that the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, was constitutional. It was interesting to see them, or Justice Roberts in particular, take the approach that this was constitutional under the taxing power. The truth is that if you look at the precedents dating back to the 1930s, this was clearly constitutional under the Commerce Clause. I think Justice Roberts made a decision that allowed him to preserve the law but allowed him to keep in reserve the desire, maybe, to scale back Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause in future cases.

One last question: isn’t this an extraordinarily lame cover outfit/pose for the cover?

Katrina TrinkoKatrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...


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