You might have heard about the volunteers helping clean up the garbage in a Baltimore neighborhood.
It happened after the dust-up between President Trump and Rep. Elijah Cummings, who lives in Baltimore.
Some of the President’s wording on Baltimore was cringe-worthy, but he did highlight conditions that need to be corrected.
Scott Pressler, a conservative and Trump a supporter, was a leader of the cleanup, and he tweeted before and after pictures (Hot Air has them—and the difference is startling).
Nearly 300 volunteers removed a toilet, chairs, tables and spare tires, among other things, from piles of trash in a west Baltimore alley. The volunteers completely cleared out what was an impassable alley, making a real difference and a real dent in the condition of the neighborhood.
"I think it's great. It's a good thing," said Arnold Tyree, of Baltimore.
"This is our city, and we need to clean it up," said Kenny Ebron, of west Baltimore.
The Baltimore Sun was not nearly so enthusiastic. The newspaper responded with a nasty editorial headlined “We Assume It Was Pure Motives that Led a Trump Supporter to Launch a Clean-up in Cummings’ District, Right?” Here is the gist of it:
It made for good photos, compelling videos and catchy Twitter hashtags. A group of conservatives rolled their pickup trucks into one of West Baltimore’s most impoverished neighborhoods Monday for a cleanup day. Loaded down with trash bags and shovels, they cleared alleyways of old tires, food containers, paper and other debris. They pulled up weeds and cut away overgrown grass. The group posted before and after pictures on social media showing their progress…
Whatever he says his motives were, Mr. Presler’s presence in Baltimore reinforces the tired image of our failing urban cores. That the poor people in this dilapidated city can’t take care of their own neighborhoods and all the public officials around them have failed as well. The bureaucratic, all-talk Democrats strike again. If a crowd of volunteers could clean up 12 tons of trash in 12 hours, how incompetent and helpless must Baltimoreans be if they can’t manage it in decades, right?
Whatever Presler’s motives were, the newspaper got one thing right: the clean-up highlighted the problem of failing urban cores in cities that have been governed mostly by Democrats for a long time.
I was not crazy, as I have said, about the President’s wording in his tweets about Rep. Cummings, but so many commentators are twisting something that he said in a cynical way that deserves comment.
The president’s critics have seized on the word “infested” saying that he applied this word to people. I heard one commentator say that Hitler said the Jewish people “infested” Europe and draw a comparison to Trump and Hitler.
But Trump never used the word with regard to people—he said rodents were “infesting” areas of Baltimore and that this made it difficult for human beings to live in these areas. That the President applied this word to people is now a talking point of the left.
Speaking of liberal cities with rats problems, the Wall Street Journal this morning has a piece about rat infestation in several California cities, including Los Angeles. Things are so bad that a resurgence of the bubonic plague is feared. So what is California doing? The legislature is considering banning rat poison:
After California’s EPA applied rat poison, environmentalists howled that the pesticide could harm species that prey on rats.
Democrats in Sacramento are now moving legislation to ban “second-generation” rodenticides that are more potent than earlier poisons against which rats have developed immunity. “Predatory species, such as raptors, bobcats, and foxes, regularly consume rodents as part of their diet. Poisoned rodents also become more lethargic and exhibit abnormal behavior,” a bill analysis notes. But “data are less conclusive in pointing to [anticoagulant rodenticides] as the specific cause of death in necropsied animals.”
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