On the last day of her trip to East Asia, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke briefly of the place of human rights in American policy toward China. "Our pressing on those issues can't interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis."
In other words, the Left in America simply doesn't care. They've come a long way since the days of Jimmy Carter and LBJ. It's quite a slide.
Of course, we can't really push very effectively where China is concerned, as we need them to buy more American debt as The Won leads us into a grand new experiment in socialism. Because we face crisis after crisis after crisis, the goody-two-shoes stuff needs to be moved not merely to the back burner, but completely away from the stove.
We have, after all, the "global climate change crisis" to deal with, and we all know how incredibly important that is. It's right up there with the Temperance Movement of the early 1900's, in which an ever-growing chorus of well-intentioned do-gooders set about "saving the planet" from "demon rum". Naturally, the only way to accomplish this was to pass laws aimed at restricting individual freedom, which of course culminated in the passage of the 18th Amendment. This, it is now widely recognized, was a huge mistake which arose from a strong desire to save us all. The boogyman then was demon rum; the boogyman now is carbon dioxide. In any event, the effects are likely to be analagous.
Good intentions, pushed with religious fervor by True Believers, never yield positive results. It's never been the case in the past, and it won't be the case now. The stakes, however, are high: such opportunities to assert power and control over the lives of millions come along only rarely. This is one such opportunity, and as Mrs. Clinton correctly estimates, it is not something to be diluted by trivialities like human rights.
People have had an urge to control the climate throughout history so I suppose it is no surprise that we are at it again today. Sometimes the obsession for control of the climate got a bit out of hand, as in the Aztec state, where the local scientific/religious establishment of the year 1500 had long since announced that the debate was over and that at least 20,000 human sacrifices a year were needed to keep the sun moving, the rain falling, and to stop climate change. The widespread dissatisfaction of the people who were unfortunate enough to be the source of these sacrifices played an important part in the success of the Spanish conquest of Mexico.