John Cusack is not a fan of President Obama.
In an interview with the Daily Beast, Cusack said the president’s actions on civil liberty, drone killings, the NSA, and journalistic suppression make him “as bad or worse than [George W.] Bush.”
Asked for his thoughts on a recent CNN poll showing that Bush’s approval rating is currently higher than President Obama’s, Cusack told interviewer Marlow Stern:
Well, 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,” Cusack added, “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.”
This is hardly the first time the famously liberal actor has criticized President Obama; in an interview with law professor Jonathan Turley shortly before the 2012 election, Cusack wondered whether the president is “just another Ivy League A****le shredding civil liberties and due process and sending people to die in some sh**hole for purely political reasons.”
There will be a historical record. “Change we can believe in” is not using the other guys’ mob to clean up your own tracks while continuing to feed at the trough. Human nature is human nature, and when people find out they’re being hustled, they will seek revenge, sooner or later, and it will be ugly and savage.
The actor does go after Democrats and President Obama quite a bit, but he is far from a conservative Republican; in the Daily Beast interview, Cusack weighed in on Vince Vaughn’s recent statement that guns should be allowed in schools to ensure children’s safety.
Cusack called Vaughn’s proposal a “bad idea,” but conceded that it is “not the kind of debate where you want to do a tit-for-tat with what two celebrities think about it, and in order to talk about it you have to do it in an in-depth way.”
Cusack also discussed his new Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy, the effects of drug use on artistic expression and the “ridiculous sense of humor” of his classic film Con Air in the wide-ranging Daily Beast interview. Check out the rest here.