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JOANNA WEISS

Sex and the conservatives’ matriarch

I’ve been trying to imagine the late-night discussions in Paul Ryan’s congressional office, to envision what his young aides whispered to each other about the righteous, racy novels of Ayn Rand.

You’ve heard, by now, about Ryan’s unofficial book club: In 2005, the would-be vice president told a group of Rand acolytes that he made his young staffers read “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead.” (Ryan has since disavowed parts of Rand’s all-encompassing “objectivist” philosophy — such as the part where you’re supposed to be an atheist.)

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