CPUSA call: Oust the GOP in 2006!

NEW YORK — Leaders of the Communist Party USA, meeting here March 4-5, warned that the Bush administration, aided and abetted by the Republican-majority Congress, has plunged the nation into the “worst constitutional crisis since the Civil War.”

The meeting of the party’s national committee at Winston Unity Center issued a “Call to Action” to mobilize a mighty people’s upsurge at the polls next Nov. 7 to oust the Republicans from majority control of the House and Senate.

Sam Webb, CPUSA national chair, cited one disaster after another for the Bush-Cheney regime as Bush’s standing in the polls has plunged to 34 percent. Webb spoke of the growing anger at home and abroad over the bloody war in Iraq. “Not in a century has U.S. imperialism’s standing in the world been at such a low ebb,” he said. “Not even during the height of the Vietnam War has the U.S. been so isolated.”

Yet faced by revulsion at home and abroad, the administration shows no signs of retreat. Instead Bush grows more “reckless,” believing that sheer “political will and control of the state apparatus” is enough to crush the opposition. “We are looking at a constitutional crisis,” Webb said. Bush remains fixated on “full spectrum dominance” at home and abroad. He quoted former Vice President Al Gore’s warning that Bush is arrogating to himself the absolute powers of a “king.” He called for a full “independent investigation” of Bush and Cheney for these abuses of power that warrant impeachment.

A victory over the Republicans next November, he said, will be a “decisive turning point” in the struggle to defend democracy, helping to restore Congress as a counter to Bush’s power grab. And the sharp shift in public opinion against Bush-Cheney and the ultra-right means the Republicans “go into the election with a disadvantage.”

“This fight is winnable,” Webb said. “The all-people’s front is becoming energized. New forces are being drawn into the struggle. It has put a new bounce in our step.”

In a slideshow presentation, Joelle Fishman, chair of the CPUSA Political Action Commission, laid out the challenge for the people’s movement of securing a net loss for the Republicans of 15 seats in the House and six seats in the Senate, giving the Democrats majority control of Congress.

She warned that Bush’s top political strategist Karl Rove is scheming again.

“The question is,” Fishman said, “can the fear-factor smokescreen associated with the ‘war on terrorism’ create a thick enough cover to maintain the corrupt Republican majority in the House and Senate?” She cited a recent poll showing that 50 percent of voters now disapprove of Bush’s handling of terrorism while 65 percent disapprove of Bush on Iraq, 60 percent on the economy and 60 percent on energy.

The crisis, she added, “calls for mass tactics that will bring all the separate majorities together with the core constituencies of the all-peoples’ front — labor, African Americans, Latinos, women and youth.” She warned that “a higher level of unity” is needed that is “strong enough to deliver a vote so large that it cannot be split or stolen, and so broad that it will deliver the independent vote, especially in swing congressional districts.”

Jarvis Tyner, CPUSA executive vice chair, told the crowd, “We must talk not only about registering voters and getting them to the polls. We must talk about vote protection. If we don’t, the Republicans will steal this election as they did the last two elections.”

Tyner charged that the humanitarian crisis in the Gulf Coast, and especially in New Orleans, “has exposed the deep-seated racism of this administration.”

CPUSA Labor Secretary Scott Marshall, just back from North Carolina, reported on a “workers’ center” protecting the rights of immigrant workers, injured workers and others at a pork processing plant that employs 5,500 workers. The struggle for workers’ rights in North Carolina “can be a model for how the South can be won” for progressive politics, he said.

Emphasizing the importance of labor unity, he said, “What we do in our party clubs and districts is most important because the Central Labor Council level and state level is where the impetus to labor unity is strongest.”

The Young Communist League served dinner to the meeting Saturday night, a fundraiser for the YCL’s convention in Brooklyn on Memorial Day weekend. Jessica Marshall, YCL national coordinator, drew strong applause with a report on the inspiring work of the league, including its leadership, in helping to send over 800 U.S. delegates to the World Youth Festival in Venezuela. Thousands of dollars were raised at the dinner to defray convention costs.

Libero Della Piana, the party’s national organization secretary, delivered a finance report that included a 2006 budget aimed at greater accountability, transparency and cost-savings in the work of the party.

Among the resolutions adopted by the meeting was a call to support antiwar actions set for March 15-22 around the country and April 29 in New York City.