Paul Ryan's Skeleton in the Closet

Now, to be fair, not all followers of Objectivism necessarily buy all of her views. Ryan is a strident opponent of abortion, and Rand was militantly in favor of a woman's right to choose. In fact, Ryan is an extremist on the subject. They may differ in other areas. But all one has to do is read through his mind-blowing budget plan, which would shift the burden of budget-cutting to the poor and middle class -- while totally exempting the rich from any sacrifice -- to know that Ayn Rand continues to dominate Paul Ryan's worldview. The strident, Rand-quoting Paul Ryan of 2005 is very much the same Paul Ryan who is running for vice president today.

So let's call a spade a spade. When Paul Ryan distances himself from Ayn Rand, he's not obfuscating. He's not flip-flopping. He's not being a chameleon, trying to appeal to a wider national audience, one that might be put off by Rand's atheism, by concealing his true views. He's lying.

Gary Weiss's most recent book is AYN RAND NATION: The Hidden Struggle for America's Soul , published by St. Martin's Press.