Tom Morello: Paul Ryan’s a ‘jackass,’ but Obama has committed ‘war crimes’

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, October 15, 2012 16:14 EDT
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'Rage Against the Machine' guitarist Tom Morello at 'Occupy Wall Street' in New York City. Photo: Flickr user david_shankbone, creative commons licensed.
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“Rage Against the Machine” guitarist Tom Morello is no fan of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), despite the candidate naming him as one of his favorite musicians.

For the second time this campaign season, Morello took aim at the conservative congressman, telling Hollywood Reporter that he think’s Ryan’s a “jackass.”

“[Rage] is a band that casts the nets really wide, and that’s part of the strength of the band,” he’s quoted as saying. “People are drawn to it by the music, the aggression, the rockingness of it, and then they’re exposed to different ideas. Paul Ryan was a jackass before he listened to it, came out a jackass at the end, so he missed a lot of it.”

Morello added that in 2008, he “drank a little bit of the kool-aid” and supported President Barack Obama, but now he’s disappointed. “It looked different than any other president, sounded different than any other president, and then he acted the same as all the other presidents. If you have war crimes on your record, and you still continue to suck at the corporate teat like he does — my hopes were higher.”

He went on to credit the “Occupy Wall Street” that swept the globe last year with placing income inequality on the front page of The New York Times in the midst of a heated election season. “It’s just no okay, when some people are starving to death, and others have six yachts or whatever,” he said. “[That] shit’s not cool.”

Morello said in August that Ryan seemed to have missed the whole point of most “Rage Against the Machine” songs, after Ryan told The New York Times that Rage was among his favorites. “I wonder what Ryan’s favorite Rage song is?” the rebel rocker wrote in a Rolling Stone op-ed. “Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? The one lambasting American imperialism? Our cover of ‘Fuck the Police’? Or is it the one where we call on the people to seize the means of production? So many excellent choices to jam out to at Young Republican meetings!”

Photo: Flickr user david_shankbone, creative commons licensed.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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