In case you missed it, the President of the United States is a
racist. Over the weekend, he decided to go after Rep. Elijah Cummings
and the city of Baltimore.

The Baltimore
was having none of it.

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

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.

That last line… burrrrn.

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