On MSNBC’s “Martin Bashir” on Friday, Virginia Democratic Rep. Jim Moran railed against his Republican colleague Rep. Paul Ryan for his vote against raising the debt ceiling of the National Flood Insurance Program.
Moran blamed Ryan’s affinity for libertarian author and philosopher Ayn Rand and said that if there had been a similar disaster in Ryan’s hometown Janesville, Wisc., as what had happened in New Jersey and New York last year with Hurricane Sandy, his attitude would be different.
“Martin, many of us read Ayn Rand’s books ‘The Fountainhead’ and ‘Atlas Shrugged’ on the virtue of selfishness, but we didn’t believe it,” Moran said. “We didn’t take it to heart. That’s what this is all about — taking care of yourself and the heck with anyone else. It’s not recognizing that we’re a national community. If a hurricane or a tornado had gone through Janesville, Wisc., he wouldn’t feel the same way. He didn’t feel the same way with the Midwest flooding. But this is about the Northeast and so the heck with them.”
The Virginia congressman then said Ryan’s sentiment reflected the “mean-spirited attitude” of many in the House GOP.
“We can’t function as a country that way,” Moran argued. “We’re all in this together, and when we work together, recognizing and having some empathy for others when they’re suffering just like the folks in the Gulf Coast realized that the government needed to come to the rescue with Hurricane Katrina, we all came together and we helped rebuild New Orleans and the like. That’s what we need to be doing with the shoreline in New York and New Jersey. We’re in this together.”
“E Pluribus Unum — that’s what works, not the Ayn Rand’s virtue of selfishness and not this narrow-minded mean-spirited attitude that so many people in the Republican majority in the House believe in today,” he continued. “It’s wrong, it’s misguided, and it’s going to take us in exactly the wrong direction from where we need to be going in the future.”
A spokesman for Ryan would not respond to Moran’s criticisms directly, but referred The Daily Caller to Ryan’s earlier statement, citing fiscal concerns motivating his decision to vote against the legislation.
“I agree with my colleagues that we must help those affected by Hurricane Sandy,” Ryan said in the statement. “We should meet all of their needs as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, Washington’s legislative response fails on both counts. It refuses to distinguish — or even prioritize — disaster relief over pork-barrel spending.”