Saturday, July 27th, in the wee hours of the morning, Donald Trump tweeted an attack on Rep. Elijah Cummings.
“Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.” Scriber: I guess he meant Rep. Elijah Cummings but proved once again his illiteracy.
I think he may have been doing some psychological projecting about himself and the White House. I’ll get back to that in a little while.
The Editorial Board of the Baltimore Sun penned a scathing rebuttal to that Trump trash, Better to have a few rats than to be one. Here it is.
In case anyone missed it, the president of the United States had some choice words to describe Maryland’s 7th congressional district on Saturday morning. Here are the key phrases: “no human being would want to live there,” it is a “very dangerous & filthy place,” “Worst in the USA” and, our personal favorite: It is a “rat and rodent infested mess.” He wasn’t really speaking of the 7th as a whole. He failed to mention Ellicott City, for example, or Baldwin or Monkton or Prettyboy, all of which are contained in the sprawling yet oddly-shaped district that runs from western Howard County to southern Harford County. No, Donald Trump’s wrath was directed at Baltimore and specifically at Rep. Elijah Cummings, the 68-year-old son of a former South Carolina sharecropper who has represented the district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1996.
It’s not hard to see what’s going on here. The congressman has been a thorn in this president’s side, and Mr. Trump sees attacking African American members of Congress as good politics, as it both warms the cockles of the white supremacists who love him and causes so many of the thoughtful people who don’t to scream. President Trump bad-mouthed Baltimore in order to make a point that the border camps are “clean, efficient & well run,“ which, of course, they are not — unless you are fine with all the overcrowding, squalor, cages and deprivation to be found in what the Department of Homeland Security’s own inspector-general recently called “a ticking time bomb.”
In pointing to the 7th, the president wasn’t hoping his supporters would recognize landmarks like Johns Hopkins Hospital, perhaps the nation’s leading medical center. He wasn’t conjuring images of the U.S. Social Security Administration, where they write the checks that so many retired and disabled Americans depend upon. It wasn’t about the beauty of the Inner Harbor or the proud history of Fort McHenry. And it surely wasn’t about the economic standing of a district where the median income is actually above the national average. No, he was returning to an old standby of attacking an African American lawmaker from a majority black district on the most emotional and bigoted of arguments. It was only surprising that there wasn’t room for a few classic phrases like “you people” or “welfare queens” or “crime-ridden ghettos” or a suggestion that the congressman “go back” to where he came from.
This is a president who will happily debase himself at the slightest provocation. And given Mr. Cummings’ criticisms of U.S. border policy, the various investigations he has launched as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, his willingness to call Mr. Trump a racist for his recent attacks on the freshmen congresswomen, and the fact that “Fox & Friends” had recently aired a segment critical of the city, slamming Baltimore must have been irresistible in a Pavlovian way. Fox News rang the bell, the president salivated and his thumbs moved across his cell phone into action.
As heartening as it has been to witness public figures rise to Charm City’s defense on Saturday, from native daughter House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, we would above all remind Mr. Trump that the 7th District, Baltimore included, is part of the United States that he is supposedly governing. The White House has far more power to effect change in this city, for good or ill, than any single member of Congress including Mr. Cummings. If there are problems here, rodents included, they are as much his responsibility as anyone’s, perhaps more because he holds the most powerful office in the land.
Finally, while we would not sink to name-calling in the Trumpian manner — or ruefully point out that he failed to spell the congressman’s name correctly (it’s Cummings, not Cumming) — we would tell the most dishonest man to ever occupy the Oval Office, the mocker of war heroes, the gleeful grabber of women’s private parts, the serial bankrupter of businesses, the useful idiot of Vladimir Putin and the guy who insisted there are “good people” among murderous neo-Nazis that he’s still not fooling most Americans into believing he’s even slightly competent in his current post. Or that he possesses a scintilla of integrity. Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.
New Yorker satirist Andy Borowitz points to another “Government Housing Structure Infested with Criminals and Rats.”
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—A government-subsidized housing structure has fallen into a dangerous state and has become thoroughly infested with criminals and rats, a leading congressman warned on Saturday.
The building has become “the territory of vicious gangsters who roam freely and consider themselves above the law,” Representative Elijah Cummings, a Democrat of Maryland, said.
The congressman added that notorious gang members took over the housing facility in early 2017 and have “spread terror and despair” there ever since.
“People are scared to be there,” Cummings said. “Hundreds have fled.”
He said that the horrific conditions within the housing complex are one of the nation’s worst-kept secrets. “Many of the people who have fled over the past two years have written books about it,” he said. “But the criminals continue to run wild.”
The congressman said that he was speaking out for the benefit of the residents in his Baltimore, Maryland, district. “I am alarmed that the nation’s worst breeding ground for crime is less than fifty miles from Baltimore,” he said.
Here are examples of more commentary on Tump’s trashing his own city.
From Scriber: As you probably know by now, I have sought to explain Trump and his mis-administration using a simple formula: X/AntiX. If you would destroy agency X, elect/appoint AntiX as its leader. As far as I am concerned, we have enough evidence that the formula applies here and now. Agent AntiX, aka Individual–1, is on a mission to “poison our democracy.” And I might add, to destroy our society. The questions remain. Who has bought Trump? To what end?
As 149 African Americans who served in the last administration, we witnessed firsthand the relentless attacks on the legitimacy of President Barack Obama and his family from our front-row seats to America’s first black presidency. Witnessing racism surge in our country, both during and after Obama’s service and ours, has been a shattering reality, to say the least. But it has also provided jet-fuel for our activism, especially in moments such as these.
Our love of country lives in [these]our] demands, and our commitment to use our voices and our energy to build a more perfect union. We refuse to sit idly by as racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia are wielded by the president and any elected official complicit in the poisoning of our democracy. We call on local, state and congressional officials, as well as presidential candidates to articulate their policies and strategies for moving us forward as a strong democracy, through a racial-equity lens that prioritizes people over profit. We will continue to support candidates for local, state and federal office who add more diverse representation to the dialogue and those who understand the importance of such diversity when policymaking here in our country and around the world. We ask all Americans to be a good neighbor by demonstrating anti-racist, environmentally friendly, and inclusive behavior toward everyone in your everyday interactions.
Expect to hear more from us. We plan to leave this country better than we found it. This is our home.
Former president Barack Obama, who doesn’t often comment on current politics, on Saturday seemed to endorse an op-ed written by 149 African Americans who served in his administration that called out President Trump for recent comments degrading four congresswomen of color.
“I’ve always been proud of what this team accomplished during my administration. But more than what we did, I’m proud of how they’re continuing to fight for an America that’s better,” Obama tweeted with a link to the op-ed, which was published Friday evening in The Washington Post.
Even Michelle Obama, who also shies away from Trump-era outrage, made her disdain for Trump’s comments known.
"What truly makes our country great is its diversity,” the former first lady tweeted, an apparent reference to Trump’s campaign slogan. “I’ve seen that beauty in so many ways over the years. Whether we are born here or seek refuge here, there’s a place for us all. We must remember it’s not my America or your America. It’s our America.”
Would that be true.