I remember one time I shocked the astounded von Pepe by telling him I thought Ted Kennedy was brilliant. The danger of fisticuffs eventually subsided when I clarified that I meant Ted Kennedy was really good at playing the political game, in anticipating what would sell with the voters, etc. I mean really, Ted Kennedy (allegedly) let a young girl drown rather than risk his political career, and yet he will be remembered by adoring fans as a champion of women.
Anyway, this is a typical strain in free-market / small-government rhetoric. The speaker or writer will point to some government policy doing the opposite of what its proponents claim it will do, and then we all laugh at how dumb the politician must be. Why can’t we just say the politician is lying, or doesn’t really care what the actual impact will be? Wouldn’t that be a better explanation? After all, the politicians can hire advisers.
The pattern of behavior from the US Department of State (DOS) is to shut down adoption programs from countries that do not participate in the Hague Convention for Inter-Country Adoption. Superficially, the DOS appears to believe that rate of unethical adoptions out of countries that do not participate in the Hague Convention is too high, and therefore moves to shut down all adoptions out of those countries.
Apparently the fact that most orphans in the world reside in non-Hague countries is lost on the DOS.
To be clear, I totally support Carroll, admire him for adopting a kid from Ethiopa, and applaud him for speaking out against this policy. But nonetheless, I wrote this in the comments at Bryan’s post:
I realize it’s more polite–and probably will convince more people to come over to your side–to not question people’s motives, but I really think this typical passage from the article Bryan quoted is absurd:
“Apparently the fact that most orphans in the world reside in non-Hague countries is lost on the DOS.”
Like I said, this is typical in the oh-what-a-bunch-of-buffoons-those-bureacrats-are genre, of which I used to be a proud member.
But that’s not what’s going on here. The people in the State Department–especially those promulgating adoption policies–probably know the basic facts about international adoption as the person writing the article.
I don’t claim to know what motivates the policies, but I *do* claim that this isn’t just some honest mistake, and the people in the State Department can’t get to sleep at night because they’re so worried about foreign orphans.