Some Dare Call It Treason

Donald Trump admitted he’s deliberately dismantling Postal Service because he believes he’ll lose his re-election bid if Americans get to vote by mail – which is why this is the most outrageous and unethical act of his corruption-laced presidency. Which is why the Billings Gazette deserves high praise for telling it like it is in the first sentence of its editorial last week. “The attempted dismantling of our United States Postal Service is beyond political malpractice. It is treasonous.”

Indeed, Trump’s actions are beyond the pale of any president in recent memory. Far from making America great again, our nation is now mostly pitied by the global community as we tumble from “the shining light on the hill” to the depths of a Banana Republic run by a deranged would-be dictator.

If anyone has any doubt about that, his latest threat to our right to vote — the very foundation of our democracy — should dissolve the illusions hiding under their red MAGA hats. As reported by the Washington Post, Trump told his Fox News puppet Sean Hannity: “We’re going to have sheriffs, and we’re going to have law enforcement, and we’re going to have hopefully, U.S. attorneys, and we’re going to have everybody, and attorney generals (sic).”

That the president does not have the legal or constitutional authority to interfere in state-run election processes makes no difference to the Grifter-in-Chief. As he has done throughout his life, Trump’s approach to challenges of his illegality is “sue me.” A number of states’ attorneys general have already decided to do just that, but given the glacial pace of the nation’s legal system, it’s highly unlikely the issue could be decided before the clock ticks down to November’s election.

How bad is it? Montanans can check the excellent articles by Lee reporter Tom Lutey that the removal of postal equipment began a week after Trump contributor Louis DeJoy became Postmaster General and that “at least two key machines in the state’s largest sorting center in Billings” were removed as well as in Great Falls and Missoula. In a fine display of Trumpian “efficiency,” the Postal Union reports that “parts of the dismantled machinery have already been sold as scrap metal” and cannot be returned to service.

In keeping with the enormous and disgusting tidal wave of lies from the administration, DeJoy told a Senate committee nothing more will be done until after the election, when the dismantling of the nation’s Postal Service will continue while stretching credulity to the breaking point by claiming he actually didn’t know about the removal of hundreds of postal boxes nationwide. That an email was sent out telling postal managers not to reconnect sorting machines destroys whatever flimsy façade of propriety DeJoy is trying to slide by Congress. That Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has reportedly halted $10 billion in Congressionally-approved funding for the Postal Service only adds to the voter suppression put in motion by Trump’s band of historically unethical thugs.

Adding insult to injury, the Republican convention to formally nominate Trump for president starts today and Americans will be subjected to a false construct of “alternative facts,” rosy scenarios, and hollow promises of a better future. But with over a million new unemployment claims for 21 out of the last 22 weeks, a thousand Americans dying daily from Covid-19, an economy in shambles, and the intentional voter suppression by dismantling the Postal Service, their blather is as phony as a three-dollar bill.

As the Gazette courageously editorialized Trump’s treason “is an outrage which Montanans cannot and should not put up with.”

George Ochenski is a columnist for the Daily Montanan, where this essay originally appeared.