John Cusack: Obama is worse than Bush and more conservative than Nixon
John Cusack said President Barack Obama is more conservative than Richard Nixon and has a worse record on civil rights than George W. Bush.
The outspoken actor discussed politics in a pair of interviews to promote his new film, “Love & Mercy,” in which he plays Beach Boy Brian Wilson.
“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,” Cusack told The Daily Beast. “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.”
Obama is portrayed by conservatives as a radical socialist, but Cusack said that demonstrates how far to the right the U.S. has shifted in recent years.
“On domestic policy, Obama is to the right of Nixon — that’s just fact,” Cusack told Salon. “So the center keeps shifting.”
Cusack said the president had continued the worst policies from the Bush administration and claimed even more executive power.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Cusack said the “MSNBC/Fox bullshit” divided Americans along a false partisan line.
“It’s amazing how many times I hear people talking and they say something that has been put into the echo chamber — and people repeat it!” he said. “When you have a blizzard of propaganda coming at you trying to divide you into red and blue.”
Cusack said Edward Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Administration were as important as Daniel Ellsberg’s release of the “Pentagon Papers” detailing U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
“Immediately the mainstream press all came out calling for [Snowden’s] head,” he said. “What did they do? They insulted his character. It was incredible, this instinctive genuflection to power. Now, they didn’t talk about what he did. Instead it was ‘How dare he! He’s a young narcissist!’”
“You know what they said about Daniel Ellsberg when they released the Pentagon Papers? The exact same thing,” he continued. “They were all establishment press guys who served at the pleasure of the king.”
Watch the trailer for “Love & Mercy” posted online by MOVIECLIPS Trailers: