Monday, 12 November 2012

Communists Happy With Obama Reelection

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The American people have spoken, renewing President Obama’s mandate for change for yet another four years. Following the announcement of Obama's reelection, Communist Party USA (CPUSA) chairman Sam Webb wrote an article in the CPUSA’s official newspaper, People’s World, expressing his contentment with the election results. 

“After a long and bitterly contested battle, the forces of inclusive democracy came out on top yesterday,” Webb said. “The better angels of the American people spread their wings, as they went to the polls.” 

Webb went on to reaffirm that the election results were in the CPUSA’s favor:

The Communist Party said a year ago that the 2012 elections would be the main front of the class and democratic struggle, and subsequent events have confirmed that fact. Indeed, we argued ... that defeating right wing extremism was the key to moving the whole chain of democratic struggle forward in the coming period.

The key motivating factor behind the CPUSA’s support of reelecting Obama and empowering the Democratic Party under his leadership was to prevent a “victory by right-wing extremism,” according to Webb. “Had Romney won the Presidency and the Republicans the Congress, it would have accelerated to warp drive a capitalist class counterrevolution — a reversal of seventy years of social progress.”

Between President Obama and Governor Romney, the Communist Party clearly had a preference and it won on election day. Webb’s communist prescription, for what he ironically acknowledged as a “weak economy,” is a repudiation of a centrist bipartisan solution that would include cuts to social welfare programs and entitlements while raising taxes. Instead, he proposes that the Left take Obama's reelection as a mandate for the continuation of an even more progressive approach. “On the table must be cutting military spending, ending corporate subsidies, and increasing corporate taxes,” he said.

Unsurprisingly, Webb said nothing of the fact that in fiscal year 2011 the federal government spent approximately $1.03 trillion on 83 means-tested federal welfare programs, making social welfare the largest expenditure in the nation’s budget; almost double that of the Pentagon.

Despite this convenient omission of economic reality, the Communist Party’s primary target for spending cuts is the U.S. military, which may already be coming to fruition with Obama’s cuts to the U.S. Navy fleet size to the lowest it has been since the First World War. Meanwhile, Russia has announced it will increase its military defense spending by 60 percent over the next three years. Optimistic of the future, Webb concluded by stating, “We are at the dawn of a new era.”

Russia also expressed optimism in Obama’s reelection. “For Russia, Obama’s victory will be beneficial,” Sergei Markov, a member of the Public Chamber and a former aide to Putin, told RIA Novosti, on November 7. Following the same vein of thought, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov stated, “In general, the Kremlin is very positive to learn about Barack Obama's victory in the elections,” according to Interfax.

Russia’s “positive” response to Obama’s reelection may have something to do with President Obama’s open mic fiasco earlier this year, when during a regional nuclear security conference in South Korea, President Obama, unaware that his lapel mic was on air and cameras rolling, told then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on live television, “This is my last election. After my election, I'll have more flexibility.” Medvedev replied, “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.” Medvedev then leaned over patted Obama on the shoulder and told him, “I stand with you.”

During an international conference in Moscow on Thursday, November 8, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told the press, “We hope that President Obama after his re-election will be more flexible on the issue of taking into the account the opinions of Russia and others regarding a future configuration of NATO’s missile defense.”

Obama’s reelection, coupled with additional Democratic gains in the U.S. Senate, where they already possessed a majority, is likely to result in further U.S. "flexibility" with Moscow through normalizing U.S.-Russia trade relations. Page 24 of the 2012 Democratic National Platform states: “We support establishing permanent, normal trade relations with Russia because it would be good for the U.S. economy, for U.S. businesses, and for U.S. workers if we do.”

This past summer, both the Democratic-led Senate Finance Committee and the Republican-led House Ways and Means Committee approved legislation to repeal the Jackson-Vanik Act of 1974, which denied the Soviet Union permanent normal trade relations status. In the House, the Ways and Means Committee passed H.R. 6156, also known as the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012.

The state-operated Rostech (Russian Technologies) has already announced it will purchase 35 Boeing 737 MAX airliners, which are still in development and scheduled for first delivery in 2017. Rostech signed a deal back in October to purchase the aircraft for $3.5 billion. With the Jackson-Vanik Act repealed, Russia will have greater access to advanced U.S. technology, which they would then be able to reverse engineer and/or retrofit for military use.

In addition to drastic cuts to U.S. defense spending, repealing the Jackson-Vanik Act has been a key objective of the Communist Party USA and Soviet sympathizers in the United States since the legislation was first enacted. Now with both the CPUSA and Russia pleased to have their preferred candidate in the White House for a lame-duck second term, both are likely to see an increase in favorable and flexible polices. With flexibility on the horizon, Sam Webb and the Communist Party’s new “dawn” may just culminate into a Russian Red Dawn for America.

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