Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, July 30, 2019
Backing down? Not a chance.
President Donald Trump is amplifying his criticism of Democrats for allowing great U.S. cities such as Baltimore to decay into “rat-infested” messes.
Trump tweeted on July 29: “Baltimore, under the leadership of Elijah Cummings, has the worst Crime Statistics in the Nation. 25 years of all talk, no action! So tired of listening to the same old Bull.”
The president added: “Next, Reverend Al will show up to complain & protest. Nothing will get done for the people in need. Sad!”
Washington Times reporter Valerie Richardson noted that the issue of urban decay has “allowed the White House to draw a contrast between House Democrats on the Russia collusion issue versus problems in their own problematic inner-city districts.”
White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said on Fox News Sunday: “I think it’s right for the president to raise the issue. Look, I was in Congress for six years. If I had poverty in my district like they have in Baltimore, if I had crime in my district like they have in Chicago, if I had homelessness in my district like they have in San Francisco, and I spent all of my time in Washington, D.C., chasing down this Mueller investigation and this bizarre impeachment crusade, I would get fired.”
Baltimore has not been Trump’s only target. Previously, he blasted rising homelessness in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, as well as the “crime infested” Atlanta district of Democratic Rep. John Lewis, and the “terrible blight” of crime in Chicago.
Pest control company Orkin confirms that Baltimore, indeed, is a rat-infested city.
Charm City, which has been run by Democrats for four decades, ranked ninth on Orkin’s top 10 “rattiest cities” of 2018.
The other nine cities on Orkin’s list? All run by Democrats.
The 2018 rankings:
2. Los Angeles
3. New York
4. Washington, D.C.
5. San Francisco
The last time Chicago elected a Republican mayor was in 1927.
“After years of population decline, driven by the high cost of living and violent crime, Chicago voters took to the polls in April and elected — another Democrat, Lori Lightfoot,” Richardson noted.
Why? Chris Cleveland, chairman of the Chicago Republican Party, said Republicans have virtually no chance in the Windy City, a phenomenon he attributed to the powerful Democratic political machine, fed by public-workers’ unions and patronage.
“The employees’ unions negotiate for higher salaries with the same people who receive their campaign contributions. It’s what keeps them in power,” said Cleveland. “You’d see people in this city switching allegiances very, very quickly if that were not in place.”
Even though they stay in power, Democrats have been unable to stop the flight of the middle class, including the black middle class, because they fail to understand that “the greatest social-services program is a job,” he said.
“They do not understand that a job brings amazing benefits not only to the individual, but to that individual’s family and that neighborhoods without jobs fail,” Cleveland said. “They also fail to understand that jobs do not come from the jobs fairy. Jobs come from businesses. You cannot be in favor of jobs when you’re hostile to business. And it’s getting worse.”
San Francisco last elected a Republican mayor in 1959. Detroit last elected a Republican mayor in 1958. Philadelphia last elected a Republican mayor in 1952. Cleveland last elected a Republican mayor in 1985. Denver last elected a Republican mayor in 1959.
As for Baltimore, it last elected a Republican mayor in 1963.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., served as Baltimore’s Democrat mayor from 1947 to 1959. Her brother, Thomas D’Alesandro III, served as mayor from 1967 to 1971.
Washington, D.C. has never had an elected Republican mayor.
St. Louis may not be on Orkin’s top 10 “rattiest” list, but WalletHub ranked it last year as the most major dangerous city and third worst city to live in.
Joe Hodes, chairman of the St. Louis City Republican Party committee, said Democrats “have used the city as their personal fiefdoms for decades.” The last Republican mayor elected was in 1943.
“There are good things happening in this city, but they’re the result of private interests working with barely an assist from the city government,” said Hodes.
Why don’t voters elect Republicans? “It’s a vicious cycle. You’ll never win so you don’t run,” he said, adding that “part of the problem is we’ve given up on these urban areas.”
Trump blasted Rep. Elijah Cummings on Twitter, calling out the chairman of the House Oversight Committee for complaining about conditions on the U.S.-Mexico border, “when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA.”
Trump went on to describe Cummings’ West Baltimore constituency as “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.”
Democrats and their corporate media followers quickly called the only play left in their playbook, crying “racism.”
Seth Barron, associate editor of City Journal, noted in a July 28 op-ed for the New York Post that “Nothing Trump said pertained in any way to Elijah Cummings’ skin color or ethnicity, only to his failure as a legislator and political leader to do anything to improve his district.”
The question is: Is the president right?
In May, the New York Times Magazine ran a cover story called, “The Tragedy of Baltimore.” The story details how, in the wake of the 2015 riots — or “uprising,” in the view of those who imagine the torching of a neighborhood CVS and the intentional sabotage of the firefighters’ equipment to be revolutionary actions — Baltimore went from bad to horrible: ‘nothing less than a failure of order and governance the likes of which few American cities have seen in years.’ ”
“By any measure of systemic urban collapse, Baltimore is, as Trump said, ‘very dangerous & filthy,” Barron wrote. “Among the largest 30 American cities, Baltimore has the highest crime rate, and is a close second to Detroit for the highest rate of violent crime. But for murders, Baltimore is second to no other city, with more than 50 homicides per 100,000 people. That puts Charm City in the ranks of Jamaica, Venezuela and El Salvador in terms of lethality.”
Barron continued: “Some have suggested that it’s unfair for the president to blame Elijah Cummings for his district’s woes, since congressmen don’t control local issues like trash pickup or law enforcement. But Cummings is a Democratic powerbroker in Baltimore, which has been run by a succession of failed mayors — one of whom stole gift cards meant for poor children, and another who ‘sold’ thousands of copies of her unreadable book to the public hospital system. Local state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby is credited with bungling the investigation into the death of Freddie Gray. Cummings is an integral part of a corrupt, dysfunctional political machine that is directly responsible for Baltimore’s misery.
“Because it doesn’t have to be that way. Cummings’ district has relatively high rates of college education and home values, and many solid employers, including Johns Hopkins and the federal government. The failure to develop the failed parts of the district lies with pols like Elijah Cummings, whose four decades in elected office have been a long story of wasted opportunities and neglect.”
Cummings “may honestly believe that his district in West Baltimore doesn’t stink. But it does. I’ve been there, I’ve seen and smelled it,” columnist Kevin McCullough wrote for Townhall on July 28.
“Sometimes the truth hurts. Especially to those bathed, clothed, and dipped in the intoxication of corrupt power.”
Looking at other cities in similar dilapidation, McCullough noted, “there holds a unique truth: Democrats run them all. How long will sewage run down the streets of San Francisco? How long will St. Louis, Detroit, and Baltimore, continue to rotate as the nation’s most dangerous crime infested metros? And how long will federal dollars keep chasing bad money with new?”
McCullough continued: “None of the elected officials seem to know — much less care. Why would they? They look and see that Elijah Cummings has been a ‘public servant’ for most of his life yet owns not one but two homes. Bernie Sanders owns three. Nancy Pelosi owns at least ten properties and has a net worth of $29 million. On a salary of $223,000.”
But, in Pelosi’s home district in San Francisco, “you literally can download an app to help navigate the streets with the least amount of fecal matter as possible,” McCullough noted.
According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, the top 10 most dangerous cities in America are run by Democrats.
The overwhelming majority of them are also all governed by Democratic governors. And the Congressional districts represented are also majority Democratic.
Each of them also has higher unemployment rates than the national average.
In Baltimore, McCullough noted, “Democrats have run everything for more than four decades. Federal dollars have flowed in, and yet the stench, sight, and symbolism of it all — stinks.”