Lugar’s downfall is more 2010 Tea Party guillotining of long-time Republicans, but a search for ideological purity is so intense that even Ryan is forced to disavow his political patron saint Ayn Rand for being "an outspoken atheist [who]... felt altruism was evil, supported abortion and condemned Christianity for advocating compassion for the poor."
An irony of Ryan's retreat is the questioner who forced it could have been attacking him from the right or left, either representing Religious extremists or moderates not in harmony with Randian uber-selfishness. As in the unfortunate French unpleasantness of the past, the people’s tribunals are getting caught up more in the desire for blood than justice.
Ryan, who told voters in 2005 that “the reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” now backpedals to “Just because you like someone’s novels doesn’t mean you agree with their entire worldview philosophy. She has a worldview philosophy which is completely antithetical to mine because she has an atheist philosophy..."
So much for hero worship as the GOP keeps rushing Rightward so fast that two strains of revolutionary zeal are tripping over one another—-the Ryan-Ron Paul “intellectual” anti-government enthusiasts vs. the Madame Defarge theologically blood-thirsty of Santorum persuasion.
The guillotine will be busy until or unless Barack Obama rides in as the Scarlet Pimpernel to save us all from losing our heads.
Update: Gail Collins has a final word on the Indiana scene: “Lugar got less than 40 percent of the votes in his primary Tuesday against Richard Mourdock, the 60-year-old state treasurer who tears up when he talks about the national deficit. One of the charming things about American politics is that it is still the one place in the country outside of opera audiences where a 60-year-old guy can count as a wild-eyed youngster.
“'It’s not like I just popped up like a morel mushroom in the spring of agitation,’ Mourdock said last month...
“Personally, I am prepared to give a few points to any politician who compares himself to a morel mushroom.”
The Revolution goes on.