On Thursday, The Daily Beast released an interview with actor John Cusack, an ardent leftist, who tore apart the Obama administration, dropping the A-bomb of leftspeak: “worse than Bush.”
Cusack accused Obama of “state-sanctioned murder” and emptying “language and meaning.” He begged off of a debate about gun control with Vince Vaughn, but said of Obama:
Obama has certainly extended and hardened the cement on a lot of Bush’s post-9/11 Terror, Inc. policies, so he’s very similar to Bush in every way that way. His domestic policy is a bit different, but when you talk about drones, the American Empire, the NSA, civil liberties, attacks on journalism and whistleblowers, he’s as bad or worse than Bush. He hasn’t started as many wars, but he’s extended the ones we had, and I don’t even think Dick Cheney or Richard Nixon would say the president has the right to unilaterally decide whom he can kill around the world. On Tuesdays, the president can just decide whom he wants to kill, and you know, since 9/11 there are magic words like “terror,” and if you use magic words, you can justify any power grab you want.
He then went on to talk about how drugs “have been used shamanistically to go on vision quests,” and stated that he did acid and mushrooms because “when you’re a younger man, you want to come as close to death as you can without dying…I don’t have any regrets about any of my experiences because I’m still here.”
Cusack has been an outspoken opponent of Obama’s for years. In August 2012, Cusack criticized Obama’s “imperial presidency.” In September 2012, Cusack penned an op-ed for Truthout in which he blasted Obama for sending more troops of Afghanistan, writing, “We can’t have it both ways. Hope means endless war? Obama has metaphorically pushed all in with the usual international and institutional killers; and in the case of war and peace, literally. To sum it up: more war.”
In July 2013, he ripped the press for their coverage of Edward Snowden, stating, “these revelations of spying on every citizen and perhaps every human being on the planet, the end of constitutional rights and American privacy. These are not subtle facts. And yet what we hear about from the press is the alleged character defects of the whistleblowers. That’s the oldest bait and switch in the book. We have to say that we’re not morons.”
Of course, Cusack’s criticism of an overweening government doesn’t stop him from supporting gun control or Obamacare. It also didn’t stop him from celebrating Obama’s 2008 victory with this grisly language:
Finally, some blue light, tectonic plate shifts, a sea change, we hear… a wave of despair carrying us to a new place. The bastards are finally meeting their grisly ends and will be discarded and abandoned as men come to power who will actually try to govern. I know we’re supposed to be civil but I’m not a real believer in this method when dealing with crimes.
Cusack, who benefits from the same Hollywood structure that relies heavily on tax subsidies and is himself reportedly worth a minimum of $20 million for saying words other people write, is an advocate of government redistribution of wealth:
A new social contract could be coming based on a real currency my friend Kevin McCabe calls the currency of grace. It is a currency of economic fairness and institutionalizing concepts of shared responsibility; a currency based on the gold standard that every human has value and should be awarded respect and opportunity, the dignity that comes from human beings protecting each other from the values and ideals of a Darwinist world. Its spirit is in Keynesian economics, a mixed economy with regulated markets and social spending. In the new era, we must remove fundamentalist right wing economists as the high priests and kings. Their ideology will stay dead only if we remain vigilant and call things what they are. It’s a battle for the idea of America and it’s just beginning if Senator Obama becomes president.
So, for some reason, Cusack is fine with government taking other people’s money, owning their health information, and delving into every aspect of their economic life – but if Obama’s NSA gathers phone numbers, we’ve reached the end of the Constitutional line. This is what passes for intelligent political commentary from Hollywood: incoherence coated with empty philosophical references. It makes a sort of perverse sense – that is what also passes for Hollywood scriptwriting.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.