Jill Filipovic is a journalist based in New York and author of the book “OK Boomer, Let’s Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind.” Follow her on Twitter. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely her own. View more opinion articles on CNN.

(CNN)If Postmaster General Louis DeJoy were working for a private business instead of a government agency, he’d have been fired a long time ago. He doesn’t deserve his job, which was a partisan gift that he is using to damage the very institution he runs — now and for years to come.

Jill FilipovicJill FilipovicJill FilipovicOn Tuesday, DeJoy unveiled his 10-year plan for the US Postal Service. The Washington Post said it would be “the largest rollback of consumer mail services in a generation,” making them slower and more expensive. Some of the changes are both positive and overdue — expanding package-sorting, while scaling back the use of increasingly irrelevant mail-sorting machines, for example. Others, not at all. Under DeJoy’s plan, first-class mail for items sent more than 930 miles, for one example, would travel cross-country on trucks instead of in airplanes, adding as many as two days to the trip. Postage costs will go up, and post offices will see their hours reduced. Read MoreIf that doesn’t sound like a big deal, consider the small-business owners who rely on first-class mail to send important financial documents, or the low-income Americans with diabetes who pay to have their insulin delivered via the USPS. Higher postal costs and slower delivery are matters of financial solvency and physical health. DeJoy says his plan will save the Post Office by lowering both consumer expectations and costs. But he is hardly a trustworthy messenger. Indeed, his appointment last June and his actions since then have turned a previously low-key position into another point of political polarization, and another lightning rod for Trump administration drama. DeJoy, a North Carolina businessman, was a prominent fundraiser for Donald Trump. And while he was not technically appointed by the former president (Postmasters General are never appointed by presidents) Trump had his finger on the scale. Tapped by a board of governors that had been stacked with Republicans and pressured by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, DeJoy had actually failed to make the list of hopefuls compiled by two far more neutral arbiters, executive search firms hired to recruit candidates. One Democrat on the board resigned out of frustration with the Trump administration’s interference. Late-night hosts react to new USPS truck designLate-night hosts react to new USPS truck designLate-night hosts react to new USPS truck designJUST WATCHEDLate-night hosts react to new USPS truck designReplayMore Videos …MUST WATCH

Late-night hosts react to new USPS truck design 01:09That dubious induction into the role only grew worse as the 2020 elections loomed — in the midst of a deadly pandemic. It was widely understood that a combination of pandemic accommodations made in voting laws and the danger of gathering indoors would mean record-setting numbers of Americans voting by mail. And yet in the months leading up to Election Day, DeJoy instituted cost-cutting measures that created longer delivery times for mail service, at the same time that the then-president was undermining public confidence in mail-in voting. Democrats wondered if DeJoy, himself a longtime Republican donor, had nefarious motives and called him up to testify on Capitol Hill, where he claimed that Democrats were pushing a “false narrative.” But a federal judge in Washington State disagreed, saying DeJoy’s actions were “part of an effort by the current administration to use the Postal Service as a tool in partisan politics” and that “the heart of DeJoy’s and the Postal Service’s actions is voter disenfranchisement.” He ordered an immediate stop to the pre-election Post Office changes. DeJoy, for his part, apologized, and the election was carried out successfully. How are taxpayers supposed to trust that DeJoy has our best interests in mind and is not — cue the 2022 election race — trying to make it more difficult to exercise our right to vote? DeJoy has been in his role for less than a year and has courted nothing but controversy. His record as Postmaster General has been dreadful, marked by a series of agency failures and a decline in service that reached its nadir over the busy holiday season. While he apologized for the Post Office’s slowed-down holiday service, he did not take personal responsibility, instead pointing to what he described as long-standing problems. The buck, it seems, does not stop with him — despite whatever failures have occurred on his watch. Sidney Powell's ridiculous defense in big lie caseSidney Powell's ridiculous defense in big lie caseSidney Powell's ridiculous defense in big lie caseConsider that before DeJoy became Postmaster General, the Post Office was delivering upward of 90% of First Class mail on time. That declined to a low of 71% over the holidays, owing in large part to a combination of winter storms and a massive increase in demand, thanks to Covid-19 stay-at-home orders. But DeJoy isn’t blameless: Since he took office, the Post Office has never again met that 90% delivery rate, even outside of the busy holiday season. That isn’t to say that the Post Office doesn’t have real problems. The agency carries $188.4 billion in liabilities; he says the next decade could bring $160 billion in additional liabilities Service is certainly mixed, especially in crowded urban centers — I don’t know a single New Yorker who hasn’t experienced long lines and long waits, including during a pandemic that made crowding into a small space a significant health risk. There is no question that the Post Office needs help. But DeJoy has shown a shocking lack of regard for the agency, has alienated a significant chunk of the public and has failed to offer a path forward that does not diminish the service. The fact is, most Americans — at the moment — do not experience the postal service as an unmitigated disaster; it has long been one of the most popular government agencies in America. People want it to survive. But the numbers tell a striking story: ticking along as usual isn’t working. The Post Office should not be a partisan agency, and is set up to avoid partisan spats — that’s why it’s so egregious that DeJoy was put in the role in the first place, and it’s the same reason President Joe Biden can’t simply fire him. Only the board of governors that appointed DeJoy can fire him. But that doesn’t mean there are no options. To begin with, Americans can demand that DeJoy resign. And Biden can remove members of the board of governors for cause, though that, too, runs the risk of being perceived as compounding the partisanship. Get our free weekly newsletter

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The most straightforward route involves the board removing DeJoy. Currently, there are three Republicans, one Democrat, and three open seats on the board; if the Senate confirms all of Biden’s nominees to those open seats, then the board will have the power to remove DeJoy if he refuses to step down. Solving problems in a public institution requires broad trust in the person in charge.The Trump administration hollowed out American confidence in government and in some of our most valued institutions. DeJoy is one of Trump’s legacies. If we want to save the Post Office, then he needs to go.

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https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/24/opinions/dejoy-post-office-filipovic/index.html

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