“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,” wrote the Editorial Board of the Baltimore Sun in a scathing editorial last night. The editorial, entitled “Better to Have a Few Rats than to Be One“, was in response to Trump’s verbal attacks on both the city of Baltimore and on Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, whose district, which Trump called a “rat and rodent infested mess“, includes part of Baltimore.
Trump’s attacks, which some, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), have deemed racist, started yesterday and Trump, true to form, responded to the controversy over his remarks by doubling down on them rather than retracting them. In their editorial the Baltimore Sun also pointed out that the White House has more power to effect positive change in Baltimore than any single representative, a point many others have raised as well, that Trump doesn’t seem to get that as president, he is supposed to be the advocate of the entire country, not just the parts that vote red. Trump is targeting Cummings in an attempt to undercut Cummings’ vocal criticism of border conditions during a July 18 congressional hearing and Trump sees Cummings as one of his primary enemies, since Cummings, as chair of the House Oversight Committee, is leading a number of investigations into Trump and the Trump administration. As the Baltimore Sun editorial described:
It’s not hard to see what’s going on here. The congressman (Cummings) 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.”…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.
Trump’s rhetoric is divisive, hateful, and motivated out of self-interest rather than the interests of the country, not just once in a while, but in a daily deluge of unproductive ugliness. Especially on the weekends, Trump just keeps churning out tweet after tweet, full of false statements (i.e., lies) and brimming with juvenile insults, racist tropes, and political attacks. The last sentence in the Baltimore Sun’s editorial is “Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.”