Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling the House back into session this week to address fears that the U.S. Postal Service is being infiltrated by alien lizard people posing as letter carriers. OK, it isn’t quite that bad. The actual conspiracy theory holds that President Trump is strangling the USPS to hack the November election.
But talk about “unsubstantiated,” as the press likes to call Donald Trump’s Twitter emissions. Democrats should be deeply embarrassed that their leadership has embraced such claims. Two Congressmen, including Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, wrote to the FBI on Monday to urge, if you can believe it, a criminal investigation of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.
“This conspiracy theory is the most far-flung thing I think I’ve ever heard,” says Stephen Kearney, who worked at the USPS for 33 years, including as treasurer and a senior vice president. “DeJoy was not appointed by President Trump,” but by the USPS’s bipartisan governors. (Who, as it happens, selected him unanimously.)
“You can find valid operational reasons for the actions taken by the Postal Service so far,” says Mike Plunkett, another longtime USPS executive who now leads the Association for Postal Commerce. “In no way do I detect any criminality behind them, and I’m at a loss as to how one would reach that conclusion.”
The Democratic letter to the FBI cites news reports that the USPS is decommissioning hundreds of mail-sorting machines. But the context is that overall mail volume has fallen 33% since 2006. “They’ve been taking machines out of service for years now, and I’ve been encouraging them to do it more aggressively,” says Hamilton Davison, the president of the American Catalog Mailers Association. “I think that’s a good thing for America, because we don’t want to pay for stuff that we don’t need.”