With a stroke of the pen, Barack Obama has imposed higher fuel-economy standards on the American auto industry. Those standards can only be met by making the average car smaller and lighter than consumers prefer. The inevitable result is that thousands of innocent Americans, possibly tens of thousands, will die painful and sometimes fiery deaths, while many thousands more will be seriously injured. This prospect apparently gave Obama no pause whatsoever. He has never so much as hinted that he sees a moral dimension in the trade-off between human life and reduced carbon emissions.
On the other hand, Obama sees the brief and physically harmless discomfort of three terrorists as posing a moral crisis of almost unparalleled dimension, necessitating endless apology and hand-wringing. The contrast in Obama’s priorities is striking, to say the least. I would submit that this is what happens when you substitute preening for intelligent policy-making.