In the latest sign of Democrats’ panic over ensuring that vote-by-mail — a practice that President Donald Trump has called “very dangerous” — is used (and likely abused) across the country this November, former President Barack Obama accused his successor Friday of attempting to “actively kneecap the Postal Service.”
According to The Hill, Obama alleged in an interview with his former campaign manager, David Plouffe, that the Republican Party “for quite some time has actively tried to discourage people’s votes from counting in all kinds of ways, whether it’s voter ID laws or blatant gerrymandering, [or] making it difficult for people in certain precincts to find their polling places.”
“What we’ve never seen before is a president say, ‘I’m going to try to actively kneecap the Postal Service to encourage voting, and I will be explicit about the reason I’m doing it,’” Obama added. “That’s sort of unheard of, right?”
“An election in the midst of a pandemic”
Trump’s administration has been embroiled in controversy in recent days over changes made by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) have accused of trying to sabotage the 2020 election — and the United States Postal Service (USPS) at large.
Pelosi wrote in a statement to colleagues Sunday:
[DeJoy] continues to push forward sweeping new operational changes that degrade postal service, delay the mail, and — according to the Postal Service itself — threaten to deny the ability of eligible Americans to cast their votes through the mail in the upcoming elections in a timely fashion.
Of course, that’s not how Trump sees it. According to The Hill, the president has praised his postmaster general and warned of the dangers posed by widespread mail-in voting — namely, an increased risk of election fraud.
Democrats like Obama, however, view vote-by-mail as a safer way for Americans to cast their ballots this November amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Never mind that Dr. Anthony Fauci himself has said he sees “no reason” voters can’t head to the polls in-person this year, with a few precautions, as National Review notes.)
According to The Hill, Obama said Friday that the U.S. has “not had an election in the midst of a pandemic that is still deadly and killing a lot of people and we still don’t know the long-term side effects of contracting the illness.”
“So in that circumstance, the thing I’m most worried about is…how do we protect the integrity of the election process?” the former president asked, as The Hill reported.”How do we make sure that people’s votes are counted? How do we police and monitor how state officials are setting up polling places and ensuring that every vote is counted?”
USPS will survive
Left-leaning rhetoric aside, even anti-Trump attorney and lobbyist Nick Harper pointed out in an article on Saturday that the postal service is in no danger of becoming insolvent before this year’s election. “While their income is still not what it needs to be,” Harper writes, “the increase in online shopping during COVID-19 has helped it stay above water. And the Treasury made a $10 billion loan available.”
He goes on: “In its fiscal quarter report filed June 30, 2020, USPS indicated that it has ‘sufficient liquidity to continue operating through at least August 2021.’ So USPS is in a critical condition, but it does not appear that it will shut down before the November election.”
What’s more, Trump himself isn’t at war with the post office, nor is anyone else in his administration. The concern in the White House is over voting fraud — and if prior elections held amid COVID-19 are any indication, it’s certainly a concern worth addressing.