Will Democrats Make An Example Out of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy?

Just before noon on Sunday August 16, the Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer sent out a barrage of tweets that spanned the entirety of the afternoon.

I feel these are the two that are most important:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Representative Carolyn B. Maloney and Senator Gary Peters and I are calling on Postmaster General DeJoy and USPS Board of Governors Chairman Duncan to testify before Congress.

If Postmaster General DeJoy doesn’t testify before Congress next week as Speaker Pelosi and I have requested, he should be stamped, returned to sender, and removed from his position.

Let’s stop and we’ll return to this tweet a bit later. But first, so how did we get here?

Donald Trump has a problem with mail. Well, not always. Apparently he didn’t have a problem with mailing that one time stimulus check of $1200 to eligible Americans with that fancy Sharpie Marker signature of his. But somehow mail in voting is DIFFERENT. He’s repeatedly made unsubstantiated accusations that voting by mail is fraudulent. This is an unfortunate position to have considering we’re in the midst of pandemic where voting by mail can potentially protect the populace from exposure to Covid19. A virus that’s on track to claim 200,000 deaths by September.

Donald J. Trump is also losing. At least according to the polls.

Now I remember 2016 and the corresponding presidential polls. They turned out to be very, very wrong. Personally, I’ll never look at another Nate Silver five-thirty-eight projection quite the same way ever again. But none of that really matters. All that matters is that it appears that Trump and his camp seem to be taking his current poll numbers very seriously. The response can be categorized not unlike that of a scared cornered wounded animal. You see, it’s not just the pile of dead bodies adding up on his watch… It’s the 21st century Great Depression economy stupid.

So how did we get here?

Enter Louis DeJoy, who was appointed in May 2020 by the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service (USPS) to serve as the 75th United States Postmaster General and chief executive officer. DeJoy is a mega Trump donor and since 2016, Mr. DeJoy has donated $1.2 million to President Trump’s campaign coffers and nearly $1.3 million to the Republican Party.

That ain’t chump change. That’s 2.5 million dollars worth of reasons why’s he’s invested in the Republicans and Donald J. Trump in particular to win this November.

By any means necessary.

And apparently by any means necessary means first slowing down the productivity of the post office. There’s no more overtime and other cost cutting measures. It’s been happening all summer, but the work slow down was only the beginning. DeJoy directed the removal of letter sorting machines, the very machines that could be used to process ballots in an upcoming election. But he still wasn’t done with the sabotage. Several cities throughout the country have seen their public street mailboxes removed by USPS. DeJoy was working hard all summer. He still had to invoke his own “Order 66” and fire and reassign top level postal management. I hear it was a real “Friday Massacre”. Nonetheless he made time to meet with Trump over the summer to coordinate the postal service dismantling. Oh my bad, it was just a congratulatory meeting of the position his millions bought and paid for months before.

So again, whether we believe the polls or not, it doesn’t matter. An already impeached President is willing to disenfranchise millions of people and engage in voter suppression all because he THINKS HE’S LOSING.

The collateral damage of the USPS goes well beyond an election that’s still three and a half months away. Folks are hurting now. Flag hugging Trump and Republicans love the military? Why are they hell-bent on negatively impacting the mail between them and their loved ones? The arm forces are protecting our shores but Trump wants to impede their right to cast a ballot, no matter where in the world they are stationed. Trump apparently doesn’t care that the elderly, the sick, and veterans don’t receive their medications in a timely fashion. Apparently he doesn’t care about YOU either. For those of you who got that last stimulus check by mail? Remember how excruciatingly long it took? Well if there ever is another one, imagine how long THAT one will take.

So this stuff is serious business. How serious? Check this sh*t out…

The United States Postal Service predates the construction of this country and is formally protected within the Constitution of the United States. In Article I, Section 8, the Constitution gave Congress the ability “To establish Post Offices and post Roads.” That means it not only does Congress have the power to create a postal system, it had the ability to acquire and control the land for the “post roads” to carry the mail and the buildings needed to maintain the system.

The language “the Constitution gave Congress the ability” is not lost on me. There’s nothing about the President in that passage. The postal service is under the purview and control of Congress. Which brings me back to Chuck Schumer’s tweet.

If Postmaster General DeJoy doesn’t testify before Congress next week as Speaker Pelosi and I have requested, he should be stamped, returned to sender, and removed from his position.

Whatcha’ talking about Chuck? “Should” be removed from his position? Don’t you mean jail time? Messing with the mail is a federal crime. It doesn’t matter if it’s some Joe off the street, a postal employee or the Postmaster himself…

Mail. Sabotage. Is. A. Federal. Crime. Full stop.

Ok, let’s back up a minute. I’m getting myself worked up here. Part of that frustration comes from the Democratic hierarchy’s opening salvo. We don’t have time for strongly worded requests. Let’s fast-forward to the endgame. You know, the part where Postmaster DeJoy DEFIES your subpoena. What are you prepared to do?

Anything less than arresting him for contempt of Congress is UNACCEPTABLE. People’s mail is at stake. People’s health is at stake. Most importantly, people’s constitutional right to vote is at stake.

The seriousness of this reprehensible act cannot be understated. When you mess with USPS it’s a FEDERAL CRIME. General crimes include Postal Service employees’ misuse of Postal Service computers, destruction or theft of Postal Service property, falsification of official documents and forgery, theft of funds, abuse of authority, sabotage of operations, narcotics use or sale of drugs while on duty, and alcohol abuse.

Then there’s 18 U.S. Code § 1703. Whoever, being a Postal Service officer or employee, unlawfully secretes, destroys, detains, delays, or opens any letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail entrusted to him or which shall come into his possession, and which was intended to be conveyed by mail, or carried or delivered by any carrier or other employee of the Postal Service, or forwarded through or delivered from any post office or station thereof established by authority of the Postmaster General or the Postal Service, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

There’s more than enough circumstantial evidence pertaining to DeJoy’s actions to both fire him and charge him with implementing the sabotage of the mail at the direction of the impeached Donald J. Trump to throw the election in his favor. The real question is, will Democrats have the intestinal fortitude to take this thing as far as they can go and make Republicans go on the record and publicly defend the indefensible? Let them go on record, in front of camera and country, during an election year and defend DeJoy’s actions to disenfranchise Republican and Democrat voters alike, to disrupt an institution that is woven into the Constitution itself. In the middle of a pandemic. I want to see one more final act of collective craven cowardice from Republicans. Make them make sense of that sh*t.

I’m a contemporary artist and illustrator. Unfortunately sometimes I’m driven to distraction and forced to do a little research and get my thoughts down on paper. If you liked this Op-Ed please support me by buying a T-Shirt or two. Thanks! https://alphacmt001.threadless.com/

Writer, Illustrator, graphic designer. AKA AlphaCMT.

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