NEW YORK – Speaking about the Tea Party movement today at the CPUSA’s 29th National Convention here, Jarvis Tyner, the party’s vice chairman declared, “If you can’t smell the stench of fascism, you may need some aroma therapy.”
The remarks were made during a morning session in which Tyner called upon the party to mobilize against what he said is a resurgence of racism that aims to derail the progressive movements in the country. Also during that morning session party leaders put forward a plan to make the 2010 elections the focus of the organization’s work for the coming year.
Tyner said that a “new racist counteroffensive” after the election of the nation’s first African American president threatens the progressive labor-led coalition that formed during the 2008 elections and is continuing to make its mark today.
“Once a Black president and a reformer was elected and presented his program, the fight against racism assumed an even greater importance because it, along with anti-communism, is the main weapon the right is using to defeat progressive change,” he said.
Tyner blasted Sarah Palin for her insistence that Teabaggers are not racist but just “angry.”
“You ever met a racist that wasn’t angry?” he asked. He noted that the Teabaggers, an all white group, are lashing out at immigrants and calling for “taking back our country,” not from corporate control but from the first African American president.
Citing not just Palin but also Rand Paul, the teabagger who won the GOP primary in Kentucky and the designers of Arizona’s draconian anti-immigrant law, Tyner said “these people are to the right of George Bush” and that defeating racists was key to advancing the struggles of all workers.
The convention went on to tackle the task of accomplishing this in the current elections cycle.
“The 2010 elections are the next step of our continuing project to decisively defeat the extreme right and expand democratic rights, including ridding the federal government of entrenched corporate interests,” Joelle Fisman, chair of the party’s political action commission told the delegates.
“Newt Gingrich is attempting to frame the 2010 elections with a new “Contract ON America,” to whip up hysteria that government spending for social needs is against the interests of working people.”
The CPUSA, like many progressive economists, has been saying that it is precisely massive government spending that can create the millions of jobs needed to solve the economic recession and cure deficit problems over the long term. The party says nothing less than a new WPA type program is needed immediately.
Fishman said there were many encouraging signs already in the electoral arena.
She noted how the International Association of Machinists played a critical role in Pennsylvania where voters turned Sen. Arlen Specter out in favor of Rep. Joe Sestak. Specter had double crossed the labor movement on election law reform by his waffling on support for the Employee Free Choice Act.
“In Western Pennsylvania, Republicans poured $10 million into capturing the seat held by Rep. John Murtha, but they did not succeed,” said Fishman. “They rejected slanders against Democrat Mark Critz and attacks on Nancy Pelosi and President Obama.”
Fishman also noted how conservative Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas was forced into a runoff election with labor-backed Bob Halter after she voted against health care reform.
The party plans to focus on key House and Senate races around the country, she said.
Up for election this year are 435 House seats and a third of the Senate seats. For the GOP to gain control of the House there would have to be a shift of 45 seats. For Republicans to gain control of the Senate 6 seats would have to shift.
The top “battleground states,” according to Fishman, are California, Florida, Illinois, Missouri and Ohio, all states where there are large Communist Party organizations.