Please Do Not Hurt The Feelings Of The People Putting Children In Cages

The Trump administration has gotten some heat lately for its policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border and whisking them off for imaginary baths of indefinite lengths. But with difficult midterm elections coming up, Republicans who want to run on a "Diet Evil" platform are distancing themselves from the administration's actions while not actually doing anything about it.

Former first lady Laura Bush called the policy "cruel" and "immoral" while GOP Sen. Susan Collins expressed concern about it and a former adviser to President Donald Trump said he thought the issue was going to hurt the president at some point. Religious groups, including some conservative ones, are protesting.

Mrs. Bush made some of the strongest comments yet about the policy from the Republican side of the aisle.

Unfortunately, Laura Bush isn't an elected official from the state of anywhere. What about our current part-time first lady Melanie Trump?

So, the sort-of first lady "hates" what her sort-of husband is doing to innocent children but maybe "both sides of the aisle" can stop his reign of terror. That seems a fair distribution of responsibility. When liberals on Facebook forgot slavery existed and started posting daily lamentations about how family separation wasn't like their "West Wing" version of America, Trump parried with the same clever strategy of someone who'd passed especially noxious gas on a cramped elevator: He just blamed the folks who "smelled it."

Serial White House liar Kellyanne Conway did the morning show rounds and expressed fake sympathy for the situation her boss voluntarily and maliciously created.

This scam worked somewhat when Trump & Friends were trying to kill sick people or screw the poor, but the White House is less than helpful when it keeps admitting to doing horrible things for horrible reasons. Senior Adviser to the President Stephen Miller, who resembles one of those lizard aliens from the sci-fi series V, likes to boast that the decision to give parents a breather from their kids (who frankly are never fun to travel with) was easier than making dinner plans with a vegan.

Miller told [the New York Times] he supported the policy because it discouraged migrants from crossing the border illegally.

"No nation can have the policy that whole classes of people are immune from immigration law or enforcement," he said. "It was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry, period. The message is that no one is exempt from immigration law."

Worse, Rudy Giuliani couldn't even coherently defend the administration's policy and he routinely justifies Trump's purely hypothetical high crimes and misdemeanors.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen insists there's no family separation policy, but she's also shaky on the relative whiteness of Norway so her statement was less than reassuring. Now it's up to the right-wing media to clean up this mess. The usual gang of miscreants are now arguing that separating children from their parents is a perfectly natural thing that happens... like when fully grown adults, who are not children, voluntarily join the armed forces.

Breitbart is also dusting off the classic NRA diversionary tactic of claiming liberals and the "fake news" media are manipulating us all with deliberately misleading terminology.

See, a cage is a "structure of bars or wires in which birds or other animals are confined." These are "chain-link partitions," which are separate letters arranged differently. Merriam-Webster also makes clear that it's only "animals" that are kept in cages and these are children, so it's basically a play area inside a Walmart. Isn't it the height of liberal hypocrisy to criticize Trump for calling gang members "animals" but now liberals are calling children "animals"? And why is Samantha Bee still on the air?

It is unfair, is what it is, it is VERY UNFAIR.

We can also count on Laura Ingraham to be gross:

This is a totally fair statement from Ingraham, who is anti-abortion and also the foster mother of 30,635 children. She also shared a link to this article describing the swell places where children go to never see their parents again.

Many elements of Casa San Diego, an El Cajon facility for unaccompanied children who arrived at the southern border, seem like what one would expect from a boarding school.There are classrooms, a play area with soccer goals and a medical clinic with superheroes like Wonder Woman, Superman and the Hulk on the walls.

Awesome! Because children are always safe in such an overtly kid-friendly environment!

But, wait, the Pleasure Island facility starts to take a turn:

It's surrounded by fencing that is backed by privacy netting, and a sign at the gate warns visitors that it's under video surveillance 24 hours per day. If someone opens the front door of the facility without first swiping a badge, an alarm blares through the hallway, warning of a potential escape.

Wow. This is what Laura Ingraham thought would make us all chill about child separation? Can it get any worse? Yeah, right, Ann Coulter still exists in the world and is ready to share her empathy-free opinions for fun and profit.

Sure, that's it: The children screaming as they're separated from their parents and denied basic affection are just trying to get on the Oscar short list. And does this look like a cage to you?

Oh, it does? Us too. Huh.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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