House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. RNS photo by Gage Skidmore/courtesy Flickr (

House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. RNS photo by Gage Skidmore/courtesy Flickr (

This image is available for Web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Republican congressman Paul Ryan is a leading light in the GOP, especially on budgetary issues, but his Catholic cred has come under intense scrutiny given his somewhat convoluted efforts to square his libertarian credo with church teaching. And now he has gone and said gay adoption is okay!

One churchman who has a strong relationship with Ryan is New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who had previously been archbishop of Milwaukee, where he developed a personal friendship with the Wisconsin congressman.

But I wonder if Ryan has now gone too far even for His Eminence. As Michael Scherer reports in this week’s Time, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough recently engaged in some beer diplomacy with Ryan at a drink at a K Street restaurant to discussion the deficit reduction standoff.

“He’s a Minnesota Irish Catholic guy, and I’m a Wisconsin Irish Catholic guy,” Ryan told Scherer. “It quickly dawned on me that we can work together.”

One snag: the restaurant didn’t have Miller Lite, Ryan’s beer of choice.
“I ended up getting some lager I’d never heard of,” Ryan said.
Miller Lite photo

Miller Lite photo courtesy

Miller Lite? Really? Try thinking with the Church, sentire cum ecclesia, Mr. Ryan!
As Dolan, now a cardinal AND president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, announced on his arrival in NY:
“My first pastoral letter’s gonna be a condemnation of light beer and instant mashed potatoes – I hate those two things.”
Anathema sit, Congressman.
On the other hand, as Jon Chait notes, Rep. Ryan does go for the $350 bottle of wine now and again, at least when he’s not slumming with White House officials. Hmmm, maybe he is a closet Keynesian?


  1. Cute story about one of the better looking members of the House. Too bad his economics and other politics doesn’t match his looks. And way too bad that his wicked, selfish, greedy Ayn Rand pretensions of economic thought aren’t more in line with the ideas of Jesus, “The Model of the Holy,” whom Ryan claims to esteem.

    • Gilhcan,

      Well at least ryan doesn’t think that jamming a pair of scissors in the back of an innocent child’s head is a sacred catholic act. And he doesn’t play morale three card monte with it either, as so many “catholic” politicians and lay people do.

      proposing that the federal budget only grow at unsustainable 4% each yr instead of a totally unsustainable 7% each year isn’t an act of wickedness. Its a pragmatic plan to use the countries resources to help as many people as possible without devastating future generations with debt.

      • Is there really a difference between stabbing a kid–or anyone else–in the head with a pair of scissors–or anything else–than removing early learning from deprived, poor kids, Meals on Wheels from the elderly, sequestering, trying to shut down the government with selfish, greedy economic ideas, eliminate Social Security that workers buy–after the government has stolen from their funds from the very beginning–and trying to eliminate Medicare and Medicaid, standing in the way of infrastructure and other needed work that would provide lots of jobs…? And try to kill Affordable Health Care 40 times?

        You know, the list goes on and on and on. Paul Ryan is just as selfish and greedy as Ayn Rand and just as hypocritical about the precepts of Jesus and his church as the molesting and philandering, supposedly celibate clergy and their bishops who cover up their sins and crimes.

      • 4% or 7%, as you note, both are unsustainable. So must there not be a different solution, like having the super-wealthy pay a genuinely fair tax in return for all they take out of the economy? Ryan and his Republicans wish to crawl into that super-wealthy minority. That’s why they take so much of their money to win elections and do their bidding–which means do nothing. Do you know the cost of the Congress that accomplishes absolutely nothing? Unfortunately, we have to wait for the majority of the masses to become wisely informed and vote for their own benefits and quit providing for the thieves in our society.

  2. As for Timothy Dolan and his cute church politics…

    Sean O’Malley of Boston seems to hold more respect with the new pope, and that’s an extremely healthy sign. Now, if only all the bishops would get off their kick of invading the sex lives of the lay people, at least until they appear able to control the far-outdated idea of celibacy of their own male-only clergy

    • Do you have any proof that Cardinal O’Malley thinks that catholics can’t sin in their sex lives? That sex is so meaningless that is the moral equivalent of using a napkin. Nothing matters. Do you have any proof? Other than that deep down feeling that you happen to be the light bearer and that redeeming truth went into hiding for 2,000 years only.

      • Read more carefully. I never even hinted in my writing that O’Malley didn’t think there was anyone, Catholic or of any other persuasion, who couldn’t sin in their sex lives.

  3. That incident at Bistro Bis was a sit down with libertarian and hedgie, Cliff Asness and John Cochran, an economist at the University of Chicago. I believe if you bothered to check your facts, you would find that it was Mr. Asness who ordered that Pinot Noir from the Burgundy region of France, not Mr. Ryan. But, please let’s not let facts get in the way of a good rant, right?

    There is no “church” teaching on budgets, but I love the way faux, furry Catholics love to lecture those of us who actually have budgets, can count and understand what NPV is, pay taxes and foot YOUR bills and entitlements. I wonder if any of you have any idea how foolish and ignorant you sound to anyone who took AND passed Econ 101?

    The next time you dis conservatives or libertarians, you should be forced to read the entire collected works of Thomas Sowell or Milton Friedman.

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