Accuracy in Media

Quite amazingly, the U.S. Postal Service has emerged as a presidential campaign issue — one Democrats have latched onto with the tenacity of a pitbull in an effort to force universal mail-in voting upon us.

Luckily, they have help in promoting the spin from people like The Washington Post’s national political correspondent James Hohmann.

On Aug. 15, Hohmann circulated a tweet by Tennessee Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper, who criticized President Donald Trump for not surrendering to Democrats’ demand for billions of dollars for an agency notable for its bloat, inefficiency, and massive deficits. 

“A growing chorus of House Democrats, including some of the most moderate members, is calling for an emergency return to DC to hold oversight hearings into Trump’s war on the Postal Service. Notably, Cooper (D-Tenn.) even floats locking up billionaire GOP donor Louis DeJoy,” Hohmann tweeted.

To show how circular this is, Cooper was reacting to a WaPo story about the USPS telling 46 states that some ballots may not be on time for Election Day.  

I called Speaker Pelosi today and asked her to call the House back into session immediately to deal with the crisis at the post office. Trump is attempting to sabotage the USPS,” Cooper tweeted.

“We need to subpoena the Postmaster-General, and if he fails to appear, we should send the Sergeant at Arms to arrest him,” he said. 

“It’s not just ballots that are being slowed. It’s life-saving medication and checks for our veterans and our elderly. Tampering with the mail is a federal crime, and DeJoy — on Trump’s orders — is tampering.”

No evidence exists for any of this, but Hohmann certainly lends credence to it.

Those seeking a balanced view of the USPS’s problems should instead consider a piece by Byron York of the Washington Examiner.

York correctly took Trump to task for loose rhetoric that fueled the Democrats’ cause by conflating the USPS’s shortcomings with the Democrats’ quest for an all-mail election. But then he picked apart the arguments for mail-in voting and shoveling more money at the USPS. 

For instance, he pointed out that the post offices handle 471 million pieces of mail each day. Even if all 158 million Americans registered to vote cast ballots by mail, that “will not cripple a system that delivers 471 million pieces of mail every day,” York wrote.

Then, questioning the $25 billion aid package for the USPS in the House’s HEROES Act, York noted the agency has $14 billion in hand, enough to run it into late 2021, and still has congressional authority to borrow another $10 billion from the Treasury Department.

He also pointed out that new Postmaster Louis DeJoy is trying to reform the agency’s processes to bring better efficiency and cut costs, which are needed as the volume of mail handled by the USPS has declined over the past two decades. 

Finally, York tackled the media’s “nightmare scenarios,” including that story by the Post. On that specifically, York wrote that the USPS issued that warning to those 46 states because their laws governing when voters can obtain and submit mail-in ballots could cause late delivery. “It is a problem more for the states than the Postal Service,” York wrote.

Ultimately, he noted, “Some of the accusations have grown so frantic that they resemble the frenzy of a couple of years ago over the allegation, from many of the same people, that Trump had conspired with Russia to fix the 2016 election.” Although the USPS’s “serious problems” do “need attention,” York noted, they “do not have anything to do with voting.”

That’s something the public likely won’t learn unless it bypasses the Washington Post and the Twitter feeds of hysterical congressmen.

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