Trump’s Small Hostages,” posted on 6.19 by N.Y. Times columnist Frank Bruni: “Why don’t we call the terrified children whose incarceration is riveting the country what they are at this point? Not migrants. Not detainees. Not pawns, although that comes closest to the mark.

“They’re hostages.

President Trump is using them as flesh-and-blood bargaining chips, hoping that their ordeal and reasonable Americans’ disgust with it will get him what he wants.

“Give him his border wall [he’s saying], and he’ll give the country relief from the sight of caged children and the sound of their sobs. Deny him and his government will stay its heartless course, no matter how much trauma is inflicted on these kids, no matter how much shame is heaped on America, no matter how profound the betrayal of its promise, no matter how deep the interment of its soul.”