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Tony Kushner Proves My Point -- Lincoln Screenwriter Sees Obama as Revolutionary Messiah Reversing Reagan and Bush

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Audio sound bite number three, Tony Kushner, this is last night on Charlie Rose, PBS.  Now, Tony Kushner was the screenwriter for the movie Lincoln.  This guy is heralded as the best at what he does in Hollywood, and, as such, he's considered to be the smartest, the most brilliant screenwriter.  This guy, nobody can touch him.  And they were talking about his screenplay.  Charlie Rose says, "At the end of the line when you've finished and you made the movie, what did you think you knew about Lincoln that you really didn't know before?"

KUSHNER:  Obama faced in '08 a situation, you know, as bad as any president since the Great Depression.  What Obama inherited from the Bush administration is, you know, we all remember, is just an absolute global catastrophe on every level, and I think he's done an astonishing job beginning to turn that around. And like, uh, Lincoln, there's an enormous amount of criticism of our president that comes from an impatience with, "You said that you were, you know, going to do this. You said you were gonna do that. Why hasn't it happened?"  And the fact of the matter is that when you're elected president of the United States, rather than king of the United States, you have to work with a very cumbrous, unwieldy machinery.

RUSH:  Typical Hollywood intellectual. (impression) "Yes, uh, uh, what Obama faced in '08 was a situation, you know, as bad as any president since the Great Depression, Charlie, and what Obama inherited from the Bush administration is, as you know, as we all remember, the absolute global catastrophe on every level, and I think he's done an astonishing job of beginning to turn it around."  These guys are all making my point.  They don't even know it. 

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RUSH:  I have two more Tony Kushner bites, but time for one.  The Lincoln movie screenwriter, totally wrong in everything he thinks, but you'll never talk him out of it.  He's an intellectual.  George Bush, I mean, it was just horrible, it was a global catastrophe.  Now, here's the next sound bite of Kushner talking to Charlie Rose about Obama.

KUSHNER:  What I think he's done that Lincoln did was to constantly articulate for the people while making sausages, while making these compromises.  The place that we're ultimately headed for, he's been very careful to say that he rejects the idea that government is evil.  There's a rejection of the sort of basic idea of human community behind the Reagan, behind Reagan era ideology that is really frightening and that leads us to terrible, terrible places.  We have no hope for survival as a species if we continue down the path of this kind of psychotic individualism. 

RUSH:  Now, this is just blubber.  It's pure gobbledygook and gibberish, but these guys think they're the smartest people in the room and they believe all this.

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RUSH: Please indulge me as I play two more bites. I want to replay sound bite number four. We just aired it. Tony Kushner was articulating where we're headed, or talking about what Obama is doing. Obama's telling us where we are headed. Obama's not causing anything. He's telling us where we're headed. Obama's policies aren't responsible for this. We're still living with the residue of Reagan!

We're living with the residue of Bush, the global catastrophe that Bush was on every level. Now, I have to tell you: I'm sitting here listening to this, and I am incredulous. This guy is supposedly one of the smartest screenwriters ever. Tony Kushner is the screenwriter for Lincoln. Now, you and I know that the Bush administration was entirely lied about, mischaracterized, mis-caricatured, from the supposedly early days of the recession.

I mean, with the Bush presidency, we had unemployment at an all-time low of 4.7%. Economic growth was through the roof! We came out of two recessions, including that caused by the big 9/11 attack. We had a robust, roaring economy. But what was lurking in the midst of it (that some people knew and didn't tell us about but most people didn't know) was the subprime mortgage crisis that was about ready to blow up and undermine everything.

Even that, Bush's relationship to it was to try to stop it via regulation, and he was shot down by the Democrats. But what has been done in revising the truth of the Reagan years, and what was done during the Bush years to mischaracterize what was happening at the time, was an amazing feat of political lying and propaganda. It's to the point that this guy, Tony Kushner, actually believes -- with his 140, Mensa IQ-- that the Bush administration was a global catastrophe!

Obama campaigned on the fact it was a global catastrophe, that the world hated us and worse. So Obama, all he's trying to do is fix all of this. It's a job that no one man can do in four years. So here. Here's Kushner drawing comparisons between Obama and Lincoln, and again detailing just how deeply rooted the problems of Reaganism are and how much work is still ahead in correcting all of that.

KUSHNER: What I think he's done that Lincoln did was to constantly articulate for the people while making sausages, while making these compromises. The place that we're ultimately headed for, he's been very careful to say that he rejects the idea that government is evil. There's a rejection of the sort of basic idea of human community behind the Reagan, behind Reagan era ideology that is really frightening and that leads us to terrible, terrible places. We have no hope for survival as a species if we continue down the path of this kind of psychotic individualism.

RUSH: "Psychotic individualism." We have no hope for survival as a species with this Reagan-era "psychotic individualism," and that's what Obama's fixing. That's where we're headed. We're headed away from all that, and he's working hard! Yeah, it's causing a lot of pain, but the pain's actually being caused by Reagan policies and Bush policies. Obama, it's a yeoman's effort he's engaging here to try to correct all of this, and he sees Obama as a revolutionary!

Listen to this next bite. Tony Kushner, screenwriter for Lincoln, says that Obama is not to be judged based on the results of his presidency or on the conditions in which people live. I don't know how better you could make my point than this one.

KUSHNER: I know so many people that woke up on election morning -- where I live on the Upper West Side, at any rate (snickering) woke up thinking -- "Oh, my God, what if at the end of the night we have Mitt Romney as president, and, you know, what does that say about the American people, and w-w-what...? You know, is democracy a bad idea?" It's still a question. I'm also really interested in change and the question of time and change. When Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation Karl Marx of all people in England said, "Abraham Lincoln has now changed this conflict from a Civil War to a revolution." There's a deep, deep place in the popular imagination, especially the left imagination, for revolution. It's... Uh, Walter Benjamin likens it to th-the anticipation of The Messiah coming.

RUSH: Well, yeah, he's got it. You got Barack Obama! You have "the anticipation of The Messiah coming," and what does it say about the American people that we might have elected Romney? But Obama is to be judge as a revolutionary, not based on the results of his presidency or the conditions in which people live. That's so beneath Obama as a person. For people to judge Obama based on the results of Obama's presidency or the conditions in which they live? Obama's so much more than that!

He's messianic!

He's leading a revolution!

Now, Tony Kushner's best-known work is something called Angels in America. Angels in America is a seven-hour epic about the AIDS epidemic in the Reagan era in New York in which Reagan is blamed for AIDS. If you recall, Reagan was blamed for AIDS, and you know why? Because he never talked about it. Honestly, folks, when I began to hear all this talk that Reagan was responsible for the AIDS epidemic, I said, "Wow, has Reagan been making love with that many people? I didn't know that!

"Has Reagan been out there messing around with people at night over in Lafayette Park and nobody knew?" No, it wasn't that. He just never talked about it. Reagan didn't care about it. That's why he was responsible for AIDS. Tony Kushner's newest completed work is a play called, "The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures -- Tony Kushner's socialist spectacular." So that's one explanation for the way he thinks. Well, he's in Hollywood. He's successful because he's in Hollywood.

He is a perfect reflection of the current makeup of Hollywood. 

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