Hey, Obama: Embrace the Dissidents
Obama risks repeating Gerald Ford's big mistake
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 29, 2009 12:46 PM CST
President Obama turns to leave the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House after making a statement on the economy, Dec. 14, 2009.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – How can Barack Obama give voice to the voiceless? With a simple photo op, writes William McGurn in the Wall Street Journal. Dissidents under “nasty” governments in China, Iran, Cuba, and elsewhere—thus far dissed by the White House—are wondering: “‘Where is the president of the United States?’” His “eagerness to downplay freedom in his foreign policy” shows a striking resemblance to a former Oval Office occupant: Gerald Ford.

Ford ditched a meeting with a Russian exile, fearing its implications for his relationship with the USSR—but skipping it “made Ford look weak.” While “internal pressures” might make such meetings seem a risk, the fact is that, “By meeting with some brave soul whom others want silenced,” the president “sends a signal that cuts through the fog” and “compels respect from his enemies,” writes McGurn.

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
Dec 31, 2009 11:12 AM CST
@Dly. Funny you would ask that DLY since you have been anti-American since January 12th.
Dec 29, 2009 10:40 AM CST
Do you actually read your comments prior to submitting them DLY? How exactly did Johnson failed attempt at winning over liberals lead to his defeat and the rise of Regan when their were two POTUS after Johnson? Sure, Nixon and Carter were both a waste, but you seem to have your presidential timeline off by quite a bit.
Dec 29, 2009 9:45 AM CST
Well, isn't that Christian of you. :/