Mr. President: Don’t Be Dissin’ Baltimore (Commentary)
The latest wave of criticism against President Donald Trump involves his recent attack against Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings and the Maryland District he represents.
As the Baltimore Sun reported over the weekend, the president tweeted some "choice words" Saturday regarding Maryland's 7th Congressional District and its Congressional representative:
"Rep, Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA......
....As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. 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."
OK, now it's getting personal.
Baltimore is a city I know well and have always loved. From John Waters to Barry Levinson, to the original Colts and the much-beloved Orioles (the latter team's recent woes notwithstanding), to the Star-Spangled Banner, to the birthplaces of Babe Ruth and Edgar Allen Poe, to the music of Eubie Blake and Billie Holiday, to the National Aquarium, Little Italy and that early artery of the Industrial Revolution, the B&O Railroad (just for starters), Baltimore is a rich, bustling cultural beacon and a pretty damn nice place to live.
As the Sun editorial notes, the attack is not particularly surprising, as Rep. Cummings has been a "thorn in the side" of the president. The Sun and many liberals also accuse Mr. Trump of using "dog whistle" tactics to pander to the white bigots who have been vocal in their support of the president.
To be sure, a city like Baltimore has its troubles. We should however not that in addition to half the city, Mr. Cummings's district also include Johns Hopkins, the city's famed Inner Harbor and portions of suburban Harford and Howard Counties.
All cities of any real size have their 'troubled" areas: there are parts of my hometown I wouldn't be caught dead in. But is the president's attack fair? I say no. The president's critics are right: this is pandering, pure and simple.
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to make any difference. The cult of personality surrounding the Demagogue-In-Chief remains.
[Source: Baltimore Sun]