Now that the yawn-inspiring Democratic National Convention is over, President Trump’s detractors have to move on to their next mission, and they didn’t waste any time attacking Postmaster General Louis DeJoy during an Aug. 21 Senate hearing. While pushing for mail-in ballots across the nation, with only 72 days to go to the voting deadline, Democrats accuse DeJoy of essentially sabotaging the system, with underlying suggestions that the ploy is all to help rig the election in Mr. Trump’s favor. The new postmaster sought to ensure the wild-eyed Democrats that all was in order:
“As we head into this election season, I want to assure this committee and the American public that the Postal Service is fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s election mail securely and on time. This sacred duty is my number one priority between now and election day.”
DeJoy’s promises did not spark confidence, especially in those who blame him for the faults of the Postal Service. The agency has been in the red for decades, and DeJoy has only recently taken command – but the real agenda, here, is accusing Trump of trying to rig the election. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) is the ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. He had a few things to tell the new postmaster:
“Whether folks are receiving important medications, financial documents, critical home supplies, or simply trying to stay in touch with their loved ones, the Postal Service has always delivered. But, Mr. DeJoy, you have not.”
“For more than two centuries, Americans have been able to count on the Postal Service. But – in less than two months as postmaster general – you have undermined one of our nation’s most trusted institutions and wreaked havoc on families, veterans, seniors, rural communities, and people across our country.”
A bit harsh, given the time frame. But, DeJoy has been the center of concern. He has been accused of destroying hundreds of sorting machines, removing mailboxes, and conducting other changes that are believed to have a strong impact on the ability to deliver mail in a timely fashion. To keep the peace, DeJoy agreed not to implement any of the current changes he has in mind “[t]o avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.” The service’s top priorities, he guaranteed, were the mail-in ballots and prescription medicines.
Peters also accused DeJoy of talking to the president or his staff about the elections and mail-in voting, which the postmaster vehemently denied, saying it was an “outrageous claim” that he sought to make an impact one way or the other on the election outcome.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, set the record straight. He pointed out that the postmaster general is not appointed by the president and is instead chosen by the “bipartisan Postal Board of Governors” who chose DeJoy as “an outstanding candidate with the necessary background and skill set to tackle the enormous challenges [of the] postal system.” He also made it very clear that the appointment was unanimous.
Democrat Senator Goes Postal
Still, the Dems were not impressed or convinced, especially since the USPS recently sent letters to numerous states with the warning that mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time. Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) was none too pleased when it was finally his turn to speak, and a technical glitch had his voice muted, which frustrated the senator enough to blurt out the f-word a few times – unfortunately for him, and as a prime example of Murphy’s Law, that was the moment he became unmuted. This likely only aided his tirade against the postmaster and the commander in chief:
“Frankly, the [delivery problems] coincide with the time you took office. Maybe it’s just a coincidence. I’m not so sure. … We’ve got a president who doesn’t want to have vote by mail. We’ve got a president who likes to suppress the vote. We’ve got a president who would like to see the Postal Service not do well.”
Without detailing any specifics, DeJoy still promised that the mail-in ballots would not be too much of a burden. He said the numbers expected would be a small amount compared to the Postal Service’s regular capacity. “150 million, 160 million ballots over the course of a week is a very small amount,” he opined. He then added, “I want to make a few things clear: The Postal Service is ready today to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives this fall.”
Again, the American people are subjected to contradictions, not sure which argument to believe. If the Post Office can handle all of the extra mail, then why send letters to states warning they may not make it in time for the Nov. 3 election deadline? One thing is for sure: revamping the USPS – only two-and-a-half months before a momentous presidential election – may not have been a timely move. Along with Robert Duncan, the chair of the U.S. Postal Service board of governors, DeJoy will testify before a House panel on Aug. 24.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.