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When I found out that Kirstjen Nielsen was resigning as Human Services Secretary, I posted this on Facebook:

Christine Flowers mug


“If the Cruella de Ville of the border isn’t tough enough for Trump, I’m thinking we won’t be getting another DHS secretary, for lack of qualified applicants. Last I checked, Madame Mao, Leni (Riefenstahl), and Evita are still dead. Nielsen deserves no sympathy but again, Trump is getting very bad, unsound advice from a bald millennial (Stephen Miller) who never had hands-on experience in the immigration field. Not good.”

Not surprisingly, many of my conservative FB family disagreed, because they don’t believe people have a right to seek asylum. And I’m done trying to parse words and explain away the misconceptions about the immigration process, because nuance stands no chance against fierce, catchy slogans like “We’re full.” If I hear someone tell me one more time that immigrants are OK as long as they come in legally, I think I will shove my miniature replica of the Statue of Liberty down my throat.

I regularly find myself on the edge of two opposing tectonic plates, just waiting for the earthquake to happen.

I sympathize, as a conservative, with the desire to have order at the border and be fair to those fortunate enough to be able to do it the “right way.”

Yet I also understand that life isn’t always that tidy, much less equitable. The Evangelical Christian kid fleeing the gang that killed his father while he was preaching in church has just as much a right to live here as the highly skilled mechanical engineer who got his master’s at MIT or the tourist who fell in love with his cute American tour guide and got hitched before his visa expired.

Which brings me to another skirmish on Facebook recently. I had posted a link to an article about the cruel pushback Ivanka Trump was getting when she posted a photo of her youngest son Theodore sleeping on the floor instead of in his bed.

She made a cute comment about perhaps putting him back in his crib. The mean-spirited minions of social media took that as an opportunity to attack the president’s daughter for the child separation policies — which really do represent an embarrassing moment for our national character. That was cruel and unnecessary.

People taking out their anger on a sweet moment involving a little boy are beyond contempt. One so-called comedian wrote: “What about cages, isn’t that your thing?” So much for tolerant liberals.

But to be fair, the policy they’re critiquing does highlight the worst of Trump’s immigration agenda, which we’ll get more of with Nielsen out of office.

And not just from the administration. In response to the Ivanka link, a FB acquaintance who was angered at the attack on the president’s daughter wrote the following:

“Sure, we need more people who are functionally illiterate in their own countries and will never be literate in the U.S., with IQs that are below the U.S. average, and social mores that are incompatible with ours. Like we all need a hole in the head.”

That’s where we’ve come to, people, with this sick sense of superiority drummed up by a man like Stephen Miller, who has completely forgotten the immigration history of his Jewish ancestors. And so I pushed back against my now-former FB friend:

“My most recent asylum client has a doctorate in immunology. He was shot at by the Taliban during his work with an NGO, for vaccinating children against disease. The Taliban hate western phenomena like inoculation. He has a bullet in his leg they can’t remove, and a limp.”

So much for “incompatible, uneducated illegals.”

I had my problems with Nielsen. But she was a policy wonk who tried to follow the law.

In getting rid of her, the White House is signaling that it wants to take an even sharper turn in the dark direction that gave us child separation and quotes about low IQs and sub-par “social mores.”

Count me out.

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Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News. She can be reached at


(25) comments


"represent an embarrassing moment for our national character." Ah yes. Criminal behavior reduced to embarrassing moment. Such is life.


As a self-described "conservative," Ms. Flowers is part of the failed party that brought us Trump and all his attendant policy failures. If she and the rest of the remnants of the GOP want to redeem themselves they need to bring down their "leader" and repudiate the violent hordes he threatens to unleash.


Cassandra, you are an idiot!


I SO appreciate you taking the time, mamasboy, to point by point explain the error in Cassie's reasoning here. You are SUCH a treasure in bring up the level of discourse here.


Sounds like one your responses, name calling and lack of a response because you have not seen or heard about it on NPR or PBS. It will not be on those sources as I have explained , and why, because the CEO’s of both admitted openly they have a liberal bias. Your admitted teen stupidity keeps showing up, get a handle on this. Lack of sourcing is no excuse for stupidity.


Hmm. new2, I responded to mamasboy because he called Cassie an idiot. In reviewing my response, I do not detect me having called mamasboy a name of any sort. I don't want to embarrass you here by hanging on bad name on you for your apparent lack of comprehension. What would you suggest I call you, in this case?


You’re as bad as Cassandra you old fool.


Thank you, Climate, for sticking up for me and telling new2 what an old fool he is.


Go to the Dr, get some pills, relatives, take her computer away, call the guys in the white coats! Someone, DO SOMETHING, this person needs help!


Most Repubes are of extremely low IQs. Miller and trump,of course, have fake "degrees"
and God Almighty Lord , does it ever show.!!!


Johnny, you are an idiot and a fool!


Someone's degree is the indicator of their intelligence? Typical liberal logic.


don't know what brought that on D. A college degree can be one of the indicators of a person's intelligence. But it must be taken into account with other factors. Ranting and raving on twitter on a daily business is certainly not a sign of intelligence. I know many who have college degrees that are also radical right wingers or radical left wingers. So a degree alone means little, except that the person persevered to get that degree. Which can be a sign of intelligence.


You need to connect my response to the original comment. That's why it's called a reply. Oldhomey is guilty of this often as well.


If you are assigning guilt, D, what about your promise to stay off these boards this week? Cat got your tongue? You have no explanation? That would be a proper reply from you. Don't hang your sins on me. That is the Trump strategy -- accuse your opponent of that for which you, yourself, are guilty. Like the most radical extremists in American politics today -- the tea party conservatives -- accusing the Democrats of being extremist. Are you going to meet your terms of our bet?


Finally a great column by Ms Flowers! A subject she is well qualified to comment on and she does it perfectly. Trump doesn't want to solve this made up immigration crisis that he helped fester. He depends on it to get him reelected. He needs to feed hate and bigotry to his base, to get it fired up and ready to work for him in his reelection bid. that is why he is firing people from immigration department and homeland security. He wants the chaos to be sustained through next year and beyond. He doesn't want people who are capable and working to follow the laws. He again wants political hacks in positions that will continue to make sure the situation at the border stays the way it is. Meanwhile many conservatives consider immigrants to have lower IQ's and unable to assimilate. More hatred and bigotry spoon fed to them by this president. Sad what this country has become.


Martian, you are an idiot, a fool , as well as beyond help!


Is there any reason to suspect that either Ricky or The Veteran (of no known military branch) has opened a new account under another screen name? Or is mamasboy just the newest baby of the screamers on these posts coming from the radical right?


No, old fussy...just another of your paranoid conspiracy theories about the people on your enemies list. A quick check of archived comments reveals that mamasboy's account/screenname had existed and posted comments here more than a year ago. #amenmartian [rolleyes]


Oh my! I am SO embarrassed, crank! Sloppy record-keeping on my part. How EVER did I miss entering mamasboy to my enemies list more than a year ago!? I am grateful, however, that I made you waste some of your valuable time to make this archival search that you did in order to take me to task. Time well-spent, right?


I suspect the first group of those illegals are on their way to San Francisco wearing flowers in their hair.


Well, new2, as a septuagenarian, you would have been the right age in 1967 to have woven some flowers in your hair on your way to express peace and love in San Francisco during that historic summer. You would probably have been a much happier, more rounded human being if you had done so.


While in the Navy I did spend some time in San Francisco and visited Height/Ashbury and saw it for myself and have been back several times. It once was a beautiful city. But know, I don’t run in that circle.


Well, new2, you run in pretty destructive circle these days. You should try to break out of it, but that seems pretty unlikely. Did you wear some flowers in your hair when sight-seeing in Haight Ashbury back in the day?

My stepson and his wife lived near the Haight several years ago, and when staying with them. His wife had a job for which she had to get up quite early, so I would get up shortly after, while my wife and my stepson were still asleep. I'd see her out the door, then I would go up to the Haight-Ashbury strip, buy a couple of newspapers and go into a coffee shop for breakfast, reading the papers and to people watch. There were a lot of old ossified hippies hanging out who never grew out of their youth. Kind of pathetic. Kind of how I view you, a man who is similarly rigid and trapped by unchanging views.


Did you reread your post before you posted it?? I’m embarrassed for you, not really, you’re just a plain hate filled moron

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