The Price of Popularity

Posted: Apr 04, 2009 1:11 PM
The WaPo's Jackson Diehl notes that the Obama "success" abroad was purchased at a pretty steep price:

Barack Obama has proved in the past few days that he can work smoothly and productively with a wide range of foreign leaders -- provided that he allows them to set the agenda . . .

What's striking about Obama's diplomacy, however, has been his willingness to embrace the priorities of European governments, Russia and China while playing down -- or setting aside altogether -- principal American concerns.

Read the whole thing here, and note that Diehl is hardly part of the vast right-wing conspiracy.

Look.  It isn't too hard to be beloved and popular abroad -- if one is willing to denounce one's own country's "arrogance" and cave in to the priorities of others.

And it may work well for the Obamas themselves -- plenty of fete-ing and praise for them, and the ability to come home nurturing the illusion of power and great glory on the international stage.  For the rest of us in America, however, it's not so great.  If the price of "popularity" is ignoring our own country's interests, that price is too high for me.