The Slatest

Baltimore Sun Has a Message for Trump: “Better to Have a Few Rats Than to Be One”

An aerial view of Baltimore City skyline on December 1, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.
An aerial view of Baltimore City skyline on December 1, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Baltimore Sun wrote a scathing editorial in response to President Donald Trump disparaging the city as a “rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.” The headline that the editorial board chose for its piece sort of says it all: “Better to have a few rats than to be one.”

In the editorial, which ran in the paper’s print edition Sunday, the Sun slams Trump as “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.” The editorial noted that no matter what he says, Trump is “still not fooling most Americans into believing he’s even slightly competent in his current post. Or that he possesses a scintilla of integrity.” And then for the coup de grâce: “Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.”

The paper also made a point of highlight that the district Trump so maligned “is part of the United States that he is supposedly governing.” And in many ways, if there are problems in Baltimore, Trump is more to blame than Cummings. “The White House has far more power to affect 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,” they added.

The Baltimore Sun also emphasized the racial nature of Trump’s attack, writing that the president returned “to an old standby of attacking an African American lawmaker from a majority black district on the most emotional and bigoted of arguments.” What is surprising, the paper said, was 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.”