A Gigantic Battle in 2008 PowerPoint

November 22, 2007

Were a year out from one of the most important elections
In our countrys history. As Sam discussed, we are on the
Cusp of an emerging upsurge that can reshape the political map.
This report zeroes in on how to realize the defeat of the
ultra-right in 2008 and beyond.

This report begins with a powerpoint presentation Labor &
The People V. The Ultra-Right: A Gigantic Battle in 2008.
It is based on the report to the National Board in
September, A Beginning Look at the 2008 Elections.
The powerpoint is a work in progress. We hope to have it
fine-tuned and available in December on DVD (hopefully with
voice over, in English and Spanish) for wide use. Following
the powerpoint are some concluding remarks.

(To view the powerpoint click the downloadable link on lower right)

• View the accommpanying powerpoint presentation: Download Powerpoint


  • U.S. Casualties Grow in Iraq
  • Cost of Iraq War to exceed $1 Trillion
  • Record Number of Americans without Health Insurance
  • Thousands of Chrysler Workers Lose Jobs
  • Katrina Still Homeless after Two years
  • Jena 6 Defendant sent back to Jail
  • Immigrant Raids target Union Supporters
  • Probe Justice Dept. Spying on Americans
  • Administration Officials Resign

If youre outraged by the direction the right-wing corporate Bush administration is taking the country, there is something you can do!

In 2008 the elections for President and Congress could change the political map in our country. Shatter right-wing Republican political control of the South, end right-wing political dominance of rural America, create big new possibilities for workers to join and organize unions and give new voice to the disenfranchised. The 2008 elections could usher in a new grass roots peoples politics in our nation.
Ultra-right Domination

For nearly three decades, since Ronald Reagan was president, the ultra-right has dominated the political scene. They enabled a rampage by big business and transnationals to destroy unions and dismantle public services.

Unionized industrial jobs left. Profits soared. Wealth has consolidated in a few hands creating poverty and insecurity for the rest of us. African American and Latino workers have been hardest hit by loss of good union jobs.

The agenda under Clinton was dictated by compromise with the right-wing Republican controlled Congress. Working people were hit with job loss under NAFTA and loss of safety net protection under welfare reform.

But even this was not enough for the ultra-right. George Bush was installed as President in 2000 to accelerate the corporate imperial agenda and consolidate its power. In the last seven years, the contradictions of capitalism have continued to sharpen.

The American Dream has turned into a nightmare for millions of families. Economic security, healthcare, affordable housing and higher education seem a thing of the past. More African American men are in prison than in college, reflecting the growth of structural racism. The pursuit of profits has resulted in a lack of action to address global warming.

At the time of the 9/11 attack George Bushs popularity was rock bottom. The right-wing has cynically used the attack to create a climate of fear and division.

Despite widespread opposition, the war on Iraq was launched for control of oil and to dominate the Middle East on behalf of corporate interests. Lives lost and trillions of dollars spent began to take a toll

The abandonment of African Americans when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans shocked the country and the world.

2006 Upsurge

By 2006, millions were in the streets to protest. Immigrants for equal rights, .seniors for social security, workers for healthcare, in Atlanta for voting rights, and escalating opposition to the war.

Building on 2004, the labor movement launched the largest worker-to-worker get out the vote drive in its history. Union households voted 75% to change Congress along with 89% of African Americans, 70% of Latinos, 66% of youth and 62% of women..

Against all odds the ultra-right was dealt a blow and the majority in Congress was changed!

Turning the Tide

The excitement of changing Congress was quickly tempered by the lack of a veto-proof majority. The right-wing Republicans set out to obstruct any progressive legislation including steps to end the war in Iraq.

The 100 hours program of the Democratic majority passed the House but stalled in the Senate. Public anger at Bushs veto of the minimum wage increase forced some Republican to change votes. The bill was brought up again. It passed and was signed. For the first time in over a decade 13 million workers got a small raise..

Growing opposition to the war forced some conservative Democrats and a few Republicans to break with Bush, but not enough yet to over ride a veto. New bills keep being brought forward as Bush threatens to attack Iran.

When Bush vetoed funds for childrens health while requesting more billions for the war there was an outcry of protest. The ultra-right hopes voters will simply blame the Democrats and forget who is responsible for starting the war, looting the economy and fanning the flames of racism.

The Bush Administrations disregard for the Constitution rights and civil liberties has created great alarm. Congressional hearings have exposed massive abuse of power by top Bush administration officials. Many have been forced to resign.

To change the political balance of forces and restore democratic rights the ultra-right Republicans have to be swept out of the White House and Congress both. The seats Democrats took in historically Republican districts in 2006 have to be maintained. More candidates who come out of labor, civil rights and other movements are needed in Congress to swell the ranks of the Progressive, Black, Hispanic, and Asian Caucuses. But even that alone will not end the war or change priorities.

The growing independent united political strength of labor and peoples organizations can turn the tide with grass roots mobilization on the issues and get out the vote. That is the challenge for 2008.

A Gigantic Battle in 2008

The 2008 election is a referendum on the future of our country. Millions are looking for political leadership that breaks from right-wing extremism and capitalist globalization, toward a society that upholds social and economic justice, racial, ethnic and gender equality, and peace. Voters expect Democratic candidates to take strong positions against never-ending war and for universal health care. More voters are staying independent.

Polls show a drop from 90% to 45% approval rating for Bush among Evangelicals. They are hurt by losses in the war, a failing economy and pro-corporate hypocrisy. (Pew 10/07). Less than 50 percent identify themselves as Republican, with most turning independent. (Pew 10/07). One leader said, There are going to be a lot of evangelicals willing to vote for a Democrat because there are 40 million people without health insurance and a Democrat is going to do something about that.

Two-thirds of voters in Republican battleground districts say the country is headed in the wrong direction. (Democracy Corps 8.3.07)

Republicans are using extreme militarist and anti-immigrant appeals to activate their right-wing base.

Working class issues can win voters over. In 2006 the religious rights was overpowered when the minimum wage was on the ballot. Some Republicans were defeated.

The ultra-right is using anti-immigrant demagogy backed up by hate crimes and workplace raids to divide voters and weaken labors multi-racial mobilization. They blame loss of jobs on immigrants from Latin America to stir up racial profiling and keep workers from joining together to demand union rights for everyone. This issue can be turned around. The root cause of job loss is pro-corporate tax, trade and foreign policies.

The right-wing is campaigning in states like Michigan for ballot initiatives supporting right to work laws which prohibit union rights and lower wages and working conditions. It will take massive public education to expose and defeat these efforts.

The right-wing will stop at nothing to maintain power. They will continue to obstruct and steal elections. Dropping voters from the rolls in New Orleans Ninth Ward is a recent example. Protecting the vote is vital in 2008.

The new battlegrounds in 2008 have the potential of dismantling the political base of the ultra-right.

The South
The Republicans racist Southern Strategy developed by Richard Nixon to dominate national elections could be shattered in 2008. Polls show 50% now favor Democrats in 2008 in the South and South Central states.. (Celinda Lake 7/07). The Senate seat in Virginia vacated by John Warner (R) could turn Democrat.

Rural America –
The Republicans family values strategy to dominate rural America is losing ground .Cost of fuel, healthcare, lack of good paying jobs and loss of family members in Iraq have become top issues for rural voters. In 2004 Bush carried Rural America by 19 points. By 2006 Republicans had only a 3 point lead at 51%. (Democracy Corps 6/8/07). In 2008 Republican domination of Rural America could be reversed.
Southwest and Florida –
The Republicans strategy to increase their vote among Latinos has backfired.. Anti-immigrant policies and anti- Cuba family visitation policies are pushing Evangelical Latinos to vote Democrat.which could flip five states from Republican to Democrat in 2008 (Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Florida)

Labor, African American, Latino, Women and Youth voters the core forces of the peoples alliance that changed Congress in 2006 are even more committed to defeat the Republicans and set a new national agenda.

The Latino Vote –
The goal of 2 million new Latino voters and 10 million votes cast can change 22 Congressional Districts from red to blue. Voter drives will dramatically increase turnout in five states with large Latino population heavily favoring Democrats (Texas, California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois)
The African American Vote –
If African Americans vote their percentage of the population in three Southern states, they would flip from red to blue (south Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi). The 44 members of the Congressional Black Caucus represent over 40 million people. A major voter turnout effort is part of the new civil rights movement.

The Youth Vote –
Young people now outnumber the baby boom generation.. Their vote could increase by 2 million in 2008. On every major issue most young people disagree with the Republican agenda. And they are ready for an African American or woman president.

The Womens Vote –
20 million single women did not vote in 2004. An effort to register 1 million new women voters is underway. Women favor Democrats by an 18 percent margin, up from 12 points in 2006. Candidates are seeking this vote.

Labor 2008:–
The AFL-CIO debate of Democratic presidential candidates placed workers issues front and center for the campaign. 25% of all voters in 2006 were members of unions. In 2008 more rank and file activists are involved. Worker-to-worker outreach is about the right to a union, health care for all and the economy. Coalition of Black Trade Unionists members are canvassing neighbors where they live.

The AFL-CIOs community affiliate, Working America is canvassing voters in nine states with key Congressional races which can flip from red to blue in 2008.(Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania)

Bringing grass roots movements and demands for peace, not-for-profit health care, workers rights and democracy into the elections builds peoples politics independent from corporate control. If the President and Congress are elected with this mandate and the peoples movement continues, real gains can be won. The war and occupation of Iraq can finally be ended.

Sweeping out ultra-right Republicans will usher in a new political era with new possibilities to Rebuild America, change foreign policy, and achieve no war and no warming. Labor and progressive forces including the Communist Party will have more opportunities to run their own candidates and help shape a future of people before profits.

What You Can Do

The 2008 elections can become a breakthrough for independent peoples politics. It will take all of us to accomplish this great task and make history.

How to get involved
– Volunteer with the Labor 2008 healthcare and get out the vote drive in your union or community
– Join with others in your neighborhood to discuss issues, register voters and get involved
– Participate in election protection efforts so every one can vote and every vote is counted
– Distribute the Peoples Weekly World to co-workers and friends in your workplace or neighborhood- Help enlarge the Communist Party and Young Communist League in your community to build unity and win basic change.

Help Make History!

Prepared by: Political Action Commission, Communist Party USA politicalaction@cpusa.org



Our assessment of the danger of the ultra-right and the need
for a broad alliance with labor, African American, Latino,
women and youth voters at the core has provided the basis
for our tactics which were validated in the 2006 elections.

The impact of the war and economic hardship is further
changing the political landscape. Economic issues are a top
concern as job loss, foreclosures and the cost of health
care skyrocket. The fighting spirit of the 1930’s to defend
the victims of the crisis is needed. National solutions are
required, but there can be local action to mobilize more
and more people.

In Tuesdays local elections, Republicans were defeated in
several red states. In Kentucky the Republican
governor was defeated by 18 points. In Virginia the State Senate
flipped to Democrat despite Republican anti-immigrant
baiting. In Mississippi Democrats regained control of the
state senate. These results are an indication of the
political shift taking place in the south and in Rural

The opportunity is now before us to sweep out the
ultra-right Republicans from the White House and further
diminish their power in Congress.

The Republican strategy to maintain power is to promote
confusion and division. Confusion by blaming the Democrats
for a do-nothing Congress. Division with heightened
use of racism and anti-immigrant bigotry.

Confusion and Division: The War

When Bush blames the Democrats in Congress for
investigating and not legislating, he is putting up a
smoke screen. It is Bush who has vetoed every vote by
Congress toward ending the war and occupation of Iraq.

The general frustration that the mandate of the 2006
elections to end the war has not been carried out has given
way to a shift in attention away from the Bush
administration and onto the Democratic leadership in

Criticisms that the Democrats are not sufficiently
aggressive are in order. But an analysis of the balance of
forces in Congress shows that the problem is more complex.
The Democratic caucus is composed of progressives,
centrists and conservatives. Enough conservative Democrats
are voting for the Bush war policy, along with the
Republicans, to prevent a veto over-ride. That is where the
fire must be placed.

Therefore, the emphasis on building the broadest possible
mass expressions, with labor up front, focused on the
right-wing, to end the occupation and bring the troops
home. This grass roots pressure is a means of activating
more people who are opposed to the war and forcing more
conservative members of Congress to change their votes, It
is also a positive influence on the presidential and
Congressional campaign process.

The argument must be made that sitting out the elections as
some in the peace movement are advocating, or placing the
main fire on the Democratic leadership instead of the
right-wing Republicans, is not a winning strategy.

These approaches are self-defeating because they are
separate and apart from the labor movement and African
American Latino, women and youth voters the core forces
of the alliance to defeat the ultra-right. And, such
approaches undercut those who are leading the fight within

For example, at the October 27 peace rally in Boston, the
unfortunate decision was made to dis-allow Dennis Kucinich
from speaking because he is a Democrat. Efforts to change
this decision did not prevail.

Certainly, the peace movement would be well served to seek
out every possible opportunity for Dennis Kucinich to
present his program of strength through peace, for HR 676
not-for-profit universal health care, and his entire
anti-monopoly program It pushes the playing field to the

Bernie Sanders, the left independent Senator from Vermont,
when questioned by a reporter this week about why the
Democrats have not stopped the war in Iraq, reminded the
reporter that it was Bush who vetoed timetables and said
The first task to pay attention to is the election. Make
sure the Republicans who support the President on the war
are not re-elected.

As well, primaries where progressive candidates are
challenging conservative Democrats in Congress deserve
support. As was learned in 2004 and 2006, such campaigns
can be very effective if there is an agreement from the
beginning for unity in the general election. It will be
helpful to hear where such positive primaries are underway.

Confusion and Division: Racism and Immigration

Action at the grassroots can also overcome the
Republicans divisive use of racism and bigotry.
The right-wing foments both anti-immigrant attacks
and the wave of hate crimes against African Americans.
This is related to the elections.

The anti-affirmative action ballot initiative used in
Michigan in 2006 is being expanded into Missouri, Arizona
and Colorado, polluting the political atmosphere with the
goal of influencing the vote.

Very hopeful is the big march in Jena, Louisiana to reject
racism which is being hailed as the beginning of a new
civil rights movement.

An understanding of structural racism and the fact that
racial profiling and targeting threaten the democratic
rights of everyone must be laid out. The statement issued by
Jarvis Tyner and Sam Webb, Unite Against Racism,
Which appeared in the November 3 edition of the Peoples Weekly
World, should be distributed widely. It counters the racism
of the ultra-right and their attempts to create divisions
between the African American and Latino people.

The issue of immigration is being manipulated by the
right-wing media and right-wing funded anti-immigrant

While many Democrats do not want to address this issue, it
will not go away.

Conservative Democrats who have been regularly voting with
the Republican minority in favor of anti-immigrant measures
have come under sharp criticism from the Congressional
Hispanic Caucus.

When the expansion of S-CHIP childrens health care was
under consideration, language was added to exclude
immigrant children from coverage.

Congressman Raul Grijalva of Arizona argues in the Spanish
language media that ‘Our [Democratic] caucus must recognize
that it is now not just a matter of immigration but of
prejudice and racism against Latinos and my Democratic
Party has been in the forefront of the defense in these
matters historically, and now we are back to this stuff.

Our national Immigration Legislation Subcommittee has
drafted a question and answer flier dealing with some
of the main lies and bigotry being circulated in the media and
elsewhere against immigrants. Editorial suggestions and
comments can be submitted until November 26.

Along with confusion and division, the right-wing can be
expected to try and steal or suppress the vote, especially
in areas where Republicans are defending their shrinking
base, and in areas where African American, Latino and other
working class families are relocating as they are pushed
out of cities by gentrification. We should take part in and
support voter protection efforts.

New Working Class Leadership

The campaign to sweep out the ultra-right in 2008 is
bringing forward new working class leadership. The labor
movement is training union members across the country to
speak to their brothers and sisters on the issues of the

The election effort is at the center of building a working
class and peoples movement for the long haul. A victory
will give way to enactment of the Employee Free Choice Act,
and open the doors for massive organizing drives.

In this sense grass roots mobilization on the issues in this
election is a form of political independence.

Polls show more and more people are disaffected with the
two-party system and are interested in a wider field of

The Communists, as part of the labor and peoples
alliance, raise class consciousness and build organization that
provides a basis for the new stages of struggle. Building
the Party, the YCL and the Peoples Weekly World is an
essential and integral part of this process.

In the Labor 2004 and Labor 2006 campaigns, we gained
respect because we participated consistently in the
coalitions in the battlegrounds and helped develop unity
tactics that got out the vote and won elections. The
Peoples Weekly Worlds role and coverage was highly

In 2004 and 2006 we expanded our efforts into battleground
districts where we had no organization, and made new

In 2008, we can do the same and more.

A national election is a good time to develop or expand club
concentrations. At the workplace to participate with fellow
union members around worker education and getting out the
vote. In the neighborhood based on door to door work in one
precinct or voting district with the Peoples Weekly World,
with election materials, voter registration cards and
invitations to rallies and meetings.

We have to look ahead to increase the number of Communist
candidates. Door to door precinct work lays the basis,
establishes a constituency that can bring strength to the
coalition by mobilizing more votes, more volunteers, and
more readers of the Peoples Weekly World – Nuestro
Mundo, the paper of the labor and peoples movement.

Every club and member can participate with voter
registration. We can inspire voters to sign up and turnout
by relating the elections to ending the war, achieving
universal single-payer health care, and measures to respond
to the economic crisis.

We propose publication of a Communist Party program for 2008
in the form of a voter guide on how to defeat the
ultra-right and achieve progress for peace and equality and
workers rights: How to end the war and occupation. A New
Deal program for the Gulf Coast and the country. An
emergency response to the economic crisis Moratorium on
foreclosures and payments on mortgages under various
conditions. Extend benefits for the unemployed, and massive
job creation. Equality for all workers. An environmental

The Peoples Weekly World and our program is a platform we
can stand on and speak to.

Election Calendar

By mid-February 35 states will have completed their primary
elections. The conventions to select candidates are not
until the fall. Sam categorized the Republican candidates
for president well when he said they are militarist and
anti-immigrant to the extreme.

The Democratic candidates represent a spectrum, with Dennis
Kucinich offering the most advanced program, Richardson
strong on withdrawal from Iraq and repeal of No Child Left
Behind, Edwards strong on issues of poverty and labor
rights, Obama strong on issues of equal rights and
opportunity, and Clinton with a strong appeal to women, but
not clear on the war.

Our focus is on the issues rather than the personalities,
placing pressure from below to move the candidates to
stronger positions. Our focus is on defeating the
right-wing Republicans in November, building up the labor
and peoples movements and laying the basis for concrete
struggles after the elections.

As unions and other peoples organizations make primary
endorsements, activists will become engaged in the campaign
process affording the opportunity to discuss issues and
help build up for the general election.

For example, the United Steel Workers union is mobilizing to
get the vote out for Edwards in the primaries. The union
sees this mobilization as part of training an army of
members to get out the vote in the general election and
make sure the White House and Congress do not end up in
Republican hands.

Our contribution in building unity is of great importance.
The Peoples Weekly World is a critical organizing tool
and educator for 2008. Analysis of the issues and articles
which express the need for unity can have an impact on the

Struggle in Congress

The period between now and the elections is critical.
Despite the fact that 45% of people strongly disapprove of
his administration, Bush is pushing ahead, siphoning off
support within Congress. The appointment of Mukasy as
Attorney General, the Peru Trade Agreement, domestic
surveillance and the threatened war on Iran are examples.

Unity of all the forces can change the program of the
centrist and conservative Democrats who have been voting
with the Republicans. This week, for the first time in
seven years Congress voted to override the President’s
veto. Congress restored funding of a water resources bill to
protect the Gulf Coast from storms, restore the Florida
Everglades and replace seven Depression-era locks on the
Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers.

These struggles in Congress will influence the 2008
elections. And, the upcoming elections provide leverage to
pressure Congress on the issues.

Even with the low popularity ratings for Republicans now, it
would be a mistake to take the outcome of the 2008
elections for granted, or to sit it out. How the election
is won and by whom will make the tasks of the labor and
peoples movement easier or harder in the next stage of
struggle to achieve a peoples agenda in our country.



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