Donald Trump has now definitively stating that he is blocking US Post Office funding in an attempt to sabotage vote-by-mail:
President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was blocking Democrats’ effort to include funds for the U.S. Postal Service and election infrastructure in a new coronavirus relief bill, a bid to block more Americans from voting by mail during the pandemic.
Congressional Democrats accused Republican Trump of trying to damage the struggling Postal Service to improve his chances of being re-elected as opinion polls show him trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Trump has been railing against mail-in ballots for months as a possible source of fraud, although millions of Americans – including much of the military – have cast absentee ballots by mail for years without such problems.
Trump said his negotiators have resisted Democrats’ calls for additional money to help prepare for presidential, congressional and local voting during a pandemic that has killed more than 165,000 Americans and presented logistical challenges to organizing as large an event as the Nov. 3 elections.
“The items are the post office and the $3.5 billion for mail-in voting,” Trump told Fox Business Network, saying Democrats want to give the post office $25 billion. “If we don’t make the deal, that means they can’t have the money, that means they can’t have universal mail-in voting.”
Trump later said at a news briefing that if a deal was reached that included postal funding, he would not veto it.
So, he is admitting that he wants to squelch vote by mail, but it’s too much of a wimp to veto a relief bill.
In any case this will not prevent Trump and his Evil Minions™ from actively sabotaging Post Office operations:
The United States Postal Service is removing mail sorting machines from facilities around the country without any official explanation or reason given, Motherboard has learned through interviews with postal workers and union officials. In many cases, these are the same machines that would be tasked with sorting ballots, calling into question promises made by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that the USPS has “ample capacity” to handle the predicted surge in mail-in ballots.
Motherboard identified 19 mail sorting machines from five processing facilities across the U.S. that either have already been removed or are scheduled to be in the near future. But the Postal Service operates hundreds of distribution facilities around the country, so it is not clear precisely how many machines are getting removed and for what purpose.
Even to local union officials, USPS has not announced any policy, explained why they are doing this, what will happen to the machines and the workers who use them. Nor has management provided a rationale for dismantling and removing the machines from the facility rather than merely not operating them when they’re not needed.
While the consequences of this new policy are mostly unclear for now, it neatly fits with the sudden, opaque, and drastic changes made by DeJoy, a longtime Republican fundraiser and Trump donor, in the less than two months he’s been postmaster general. Like his other changes, including the curtailing of overtime resulting in the widespread mail delays and sudden reorganization of the entire USPS, it is possible to see some semblance of corporate logic while second-guessing the decision to make drastic changes on the eve of the presidential election in which the USPS will play a critical role.
This is literally page 1 of the despot’s play book, and if it were happening in Venezuela Mike Pompeo would be condemning this as an affront to democracy.