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Opinion: Dems should stop carping about Trump’s Hatch Act violations until they find a way to enforce it

President Trump
President Trump and his administration appear to routinely violate the Hatch Act. What good is a law that no one enforces?
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo is slated to address the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night from Jerusalem, and Democrats are frothing about violations of the Hatch Act, the law that bars most employees of the federal government from engaging in political actions while on duty.

Yeah, Pompeo shouldn’t do it. Just as Kellyanne Conway, the soon-to-be former counsel to the president, shouldn’t have weighed in on Democratic presidential candidates in her capacity as a White House official, nor should a slew of other Trump administration figures have stepped over that line.

Republicans seeks to frame the presidential election as a referendum on the U.S. — as a nation of individuals or a dystopian socialist collective.

But really, what good is a line if no one enforces it?

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The president and his circle of protectors have engaged in overt acts of malfeasance on a routine basis, beginning with Trump’s persistent use of his office to enrich his family business through weekend trips to properties he owns. Watchdogs have filed complaints but the enforcement is toothless, so Trump and his coterie push on.

It’s kind of like school kids on the playground without a monitor. They test boundaries, hear no whistle blown, so look for fresh boundaries to cross.

House Democrats finally impeached Trump over his atrocious efforts to persuade the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter to try to improve Trump’s reelection chances, a grievous sin that Republicans, following Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s lead, shrugged off.

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Trump also has used his office to punish critics, real and imagined, fired FBI Director James B. Comey to stymie an investigation into possible collusion between Russians agents and his presidential campaign, and sought to get the U.S. Postal Service to raise rates charged to Amazon to punish founder Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, among other abuses of the presidency.

He has flagrantly violated federal laws in his efforts to stop immigration, forcing lawful asylum seekers to remain in squalor as they endure lengthy delays to exercise a right granted them by Congress to seek protection.

And people are on fire now about Hatch Act violations?

Puh-leeze.


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