‘I seen my opportunities and I took ’em’

Lew, Congressman Paul Ryan was simply applying one of the oldest principles in politics, that of “Honest Graft,” as set forth by the esteemed Tammany Hall ward boss George Washington Plunkitt. Reporter William L. Riordon was Plunkitt’s renowned chronicler in his Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics, an American classic in wit, wisdom, and Realpolitik. I have my Political Parties students read it to absorb its timeless insights on political plunder as the lifeblood of the state. Much ado has been made of the congressman’s Randian reading habits. But has anyone asked if rather than reading her it is Plunkitt who is his true mentor and inspiration?


12:59 pm on August 14, 2012