Trump's plot to take out the Post Office
"The post office is a wonderful establishment! ... If one thinks of all that it has to do, and all that it does so well, it is really astonishing!" -- Jane Austen, "Emma."
Author Jane Austen loved the post office. So did Benjamin Franklin, the Philadelphia postmaster later appointed our first postmaster general by the Continental Congress. They knew the value of a letter is much more than the cost of a stamp.
But President Donald Trump hates the post office. "The Post Office is a joke," he told reporters. Now he has a way to get rid of it.
Note, readers, it's spelled out in the Constitution. The self-respecting young nation would have a post office, establish an army, courts, coins, commerce -- and promote the progress of science.
It hurts to laugh.
The United States Postal Service is under silent siege, just as the American people are, in the coronavirus crisis. Trump views the pandemic as an opportunity to choke the post office, to strangle a precious part of democracy.
The "joke" remark concealed a cold-blooded manner of death. Trump stood squarely in the way of post office relief in every trillion-dollar rescue package Congress passed for the drowning American economy.
I asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., about the post office's fragile status at a news conference.
"They tell me it came right from the president: no money for the post office," the Speaker said.
She added wryly, "Instead, inject Lysol into your lungs."