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One of the most effective political attacks one can make is to chain an opponent to someone the general public doesn’t like, or wouldn’t like when they found out more about that person. Progressives cry to high heaven when conservatives note the mutual admiration society that existed between Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Benito Mussolini or that Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger was not all that big a fan of babies that weren’t completely healthy, strong of mind, and born to well-off, white parents.

However, that hasn’t stopped them from trying to do the same thing to Rep. Paul Ryan. The latest meme from the JournoListas is that Ryan has required all his staffers to read the works of Ayn Rand. This is complete hogwash, as are most of the attacks coming from progressives these days, but that hasn’t stopped the various attack poodles from pushing it anyhow.

Think Progress, John Podesta’s progressive fiction-writers circle, decided to kick the attack up a bit today, with a video that purported to handcuff Ryan to every distasteful thing Rand ever said. I suppose the thinking here is that the more people think of Rand as an anti-social, run-against-the-grain crank, the more they’ll see Ryan as unserious as well. That, by the way, is their motive. They can’t actually discredit Ryan’s budget plan, which would all but end their dreams of a progressive Utopian America where they get to boss around the little people, so they’ll attack Ryan’s character.

Here’s the thing, though. Unlike the references to Il Duce and Sanger I made in the beginning of my post, the coy little insinuations against Ryan are not true. There is no evidence that he admired Rand’s lifestyle or her opinions on anything but limited government and the relationship between capitalism and freedom — opinions certainly strong enough to inspire a young person to a life of politics in the same way that our President was inspired by the young Socialist radicals he encountered in his youth. On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence that the most repugnant aspects of the progressive movement still exist within it today.

I really don’t think Think Progress wants to play that game with conservatives. There is no way in the world they will win.

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