The postmaster general is rarely a household name. Expect that to change should the Democrats lose in November. If that happens, they will try to turn Louis DeJoy into the Vladimir Putin of the 2020 elections.
DeJoy took the helm of the postal office in June, and since then the former head of New Breed Logistics has been trying to bring some semblance of fiscal order to an operation that has been losing billions of dollars for years.
“Without dramatic change, there is no end in sight, and we face an impending liquidity crisis,” DeJoy told the U.S. Postal Service’s governing board last week.
So far, the changes have been relatively modest. He’s done some reorganizing and took steps to cut back the excessive amount of overtime pay that postal carriers rack up.
As Ross Marchand noted in a recent I&I op-ed, “DeJoy must deliver on these, and other critical postal reforms, in order for the agency to be fiscally stable.”
But to hear Democrats tell it, DeJoy is engaged in “deliberate sabotage” of the upcoming elections. That’s how Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., put it. DeJoy, you see, is a Trump supporter, and so must be part of a broad conspiracy.
Democratic Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith said that “it’s hard not to be suspicious when you see the postmaster general, who is a big Trump donor, now at this exact moment taking steps that are undermining this service. Of course I’m suspicious.”
Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., warned that “our democracy is being held in the hands of the postal service.”
Give Lawrence credit for stumbling onto the truth. Except that it’s Democrats, hoping to give themselves an advantage in November, who’ve put the election in the hands of the postal service. They are the ones who have been pushing since the spring for mandatory universal mail-in voting, on the spurious grounds that it’s needed for public health. As we noted in this space recently, it’s Democrats and their allies who are right now suing states across the nation to expand mail-in voting.
But if things go wrong, which they will, it won’t be because of Postmaster General DeJoy. It will be because Democrats put the election in the hands of an organization that is riddled with waste and that can’t be trusted to do its job.
Take a look at just a few headlines that appeared well before DeJoy took over.
- “‘Overwhelmed’ Postal Carrier Hoarded 17,000 Pieces of Mail, Officials Say”
- “A postal worker rented a storage unit to hide mail because he felt ‘pressured’ to deliver it”
- “Postal service struggles leave Bay Area residents searching for their mail”
- “3,000 Pieces of Undelivered Mail Found At DFW Postal Facility”
- “Post office searching for missing Christmas mail in Alexandria”
- “Former Fitchburg letter carrier, feeling stressed, fails to deliver 758 pieces”
- “More than 1,000 pieces of stolen mail found in late postal worker’s storage unit”
- ” Postal Service has no answer for 2018 disappearance of Neenah-Menasha mail”
- “St. Petersburg mail carrier found with 2,129 pieces of stolen mail”
- “60,000 ballots not delivered in Adams County; Duplicate ballots sent out in Weld County”
That’s to say nothing of the recent experience – before DeJoy took over – of problems with mail-in balloting. Just one example: The USPS inspector general investigation of the April 7 Wisconsin primary found that more than 3,500 absentee ballots never made it to voters, and hundreds had no postmarks.
The changes that DeJoy is implementing don’t even scratch the surface of what’s needed to fix the financial and management problems at the USPS.
It has lost $78 billion since 2007 and expects to lose $13 billion this year alone in part because of the pandemic.
An audit by the Government Accountability Office published this May declared that its business model is “not financially sustainable.”
Over the past decade — when the GAO first put the USPS on its “high risk” list — its financial picture has “worsened due to declining mail volume, increased employee compensation and benefit costs, and increased unfunded liabilities and debt.”
In normal times, Democrats can be counted on to fight any changes to USPS operations in return for the huge campaign contributions they get from postal worker unions. Since 2019, the National Association of Letter Carriers has given $890,000 to Democrats, the American Postal Workers Union $738,000, the National Rural Letter Carriers Association another $319,600, according to OpenSecrets.org. Republicans get a relative pittance from these unions.
So it’s not surprising that the Democrats’ answer to the postal service’s financial meltdown is to pump billions more in taxpayers’ subsidies into it.
But the attacks Democrats are launching now have little to do with the union cronyism. They are laying the groundwork to attack any Trump victory as illegitimate, with DeJoy replacing Vladimir Putin for “interfering” with the elections. Thus the outrageous claims that Trump’s trying to sabotage the election.
It does make one wonder why these Democrats, who are so certain that Trump will be driven from office, are so busy making excuses should he win.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board