As things unfold, the Texas raid on the fundamentalist YFZ Ranch seems more and more like the Short Creek raid of 1953. The children taken from their mothers. The heartbreak of women. The public outcry. The children returned to their mothers. Exorbitant costs to the state. And now, the head of Texas Department of Family and Protective Services commissioner, Carey Cockerell, has resigned. Although he hasn't acknowledged the link between his resignation and his approval of the raid, he did occupy a primary seat of responsibility (only Governor Perry has more authority) and approved the funding, which has grown beyond a $14 million tab for Texas. In the Short Creek raid, Arizona's Governor Pyle lost his political career to the choices he made while launching crusades against polygamy.
Repeatedly, political institutions in America have tried to legislate what happens between consenting adults in the way of marriage. Repeatedly, judgments prove to be expensive in terms of life's currency: time, energy, and love, not to mention money. Institutions resist accountability and change, and we as a people seem to learn little from life experience. As the song "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" says, "When will we ever learn?"