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Who Cares?

The Hatch Act is a law from 1939, which prohibits federal employees from political campaigning on the taxpayer’s dime. That means not on government time, nor using government property. The POTUS and Vice President are explicitly exempted from the law, but no other federal employees are allowed to participate along with them.

Which brings us to the Republican National Convention (RNC), which is clearly violating the law. For example, the Trump campaign is using the White House and other government assets as campaign props, and Mike Pompeo gave a campaign speech while on a government-paid trip to Israel.

But White House chief of staff Mark Meadows dismissed all that by saying “Nobody outside of the Beltway really cares.” You know, maybe he is on to something. I think that we should start throwing away other laws that nobody cares about.

For example, nobody cares if people drive their cars over the speed limit. Get rid of that law right away! You may object and say that speeding is dangerous, so just change the law such that if you cause an accident by driving too fast, that would be a crime. But just speeding is a victimless crime, if it doesn’t hurt anyone. Right? I mean, even the police speed all the time. Nobody cares!

Or how about laws against jaywalking? People do it all the time, and nobody even notices. It is illegal to jaywalk even if the street is completely empty, but would you walk all the way to the next corner to cross an empty street? Of course not.

Or even better, get rid of the stupid laws against downloading music, videos, or games from the internet. Everybody does that anyway. Now that everything is digital, copyright is a silly idea.

If “nobody cares” is an excuse to break the law, then that shouldn’t be limited to just Republican presidential campaigns. After all, can you imagine the uproar if the Democrats did what Trump is doing? Sure you can, because you remember the uproar about Hillary Clinton using a private email server. It cost her the election. A total of 38 people were cited for violations of that. And absolutely nobody actually cared about it one bit. I’m sure only a few computer scientists even know what a private email server is.



  1. notycoon22 wrote:

    The administration is ignoring SCOTUS rulings, why not ignore the Hatch Act? Federal employees (for the most part) understand the requirements of the act. Interlopers? Not so much. The guy who said no one cares is only partly correct. A whole lot of Federal employees have taken notice.

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink
  2. rk wrote:

    Let’s selectively ignore parts of the Constitution while we’re at it. I mean, who cares that the 15th ammendment gave everyone the right to vote.

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink