In September 2015, House Speaker John Boehner, a devout Catholic, hosted a reception where he met the pope. The next morning, Boehner announced his retirement, having attained the spiritual pinnacle of his life.
Some Republicans in Congress have begun to speculate that Paul Ryan might do the same. Only, the spiritual culmination of Ryan’s career is not a meeting with the leader of his religious faith but … passing a huge regressive tax cut. “When the House Freedom Caucus gathered Monday night, members spent part of their meeting discussing a theory circulating on Capitol Hill and among the downtown Christmas parties that Ryan may believe he’s harpooned his personal white whale of tax reform and decide he’s finished,” reports Matt Fuller, “‘Is it a Boehner-meeting-the-pope moment?’ one Freedom Caucus member rhetorically asked.”
The tax cut is probably the closest Ryan equivalent to Boehner meeting the pope, since Ayn Rand is dead.