rage against the racine

Paul Ryan’s Favorite Band Would Rather Not Be

The most surprising detail to emerge about Paul Ryan since becoming Mitt Romney’s running mate has nothing to do with his workout habits or his widow’s peak. It’s that his favorite band is Rage Against the Machine. Of course, Ryan has disavowed the band’s lefty lyrics, saying he digs them only for their music. If it were up to guitarist Tom Morello, though, Ryan wouldn’t dig them at all. In an op-ed for Rolling Stone today, Morello addressed his most famous new fan, or as he calls him, “the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades.”

Ryan claims that he likes Rage’s sound, but not the lyrics. Well, I don’t care for Paul Ryan’s sound or his lyrics. He can like whatever bands he wants, but his guiding vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one percent is antithetical to the message of Rage.

Don’t mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta “rage” in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he’s not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.

Morello’s most savage jab comes when he compares Ryan to other men who famously misunderstood music — “Charles Manson loved the Beatles but didn’t understand them. Governor Chris Christie loves Bruce Springsteen but doesn’t understand him. And Paul Ryan is clueless about his favorite band, Rage Against the Machine” — and lumps him in with two groups with which he’d never willingly associate: psychopaths and fat guys.