When Nancy Pelosi went to Syria earlier this year, she got reamed for it in the conservative mediasphere and blogs. The Confederate Yankee labeled it “propaganda coup that will be used by Syria, the terrorists they sponsor, and Islamists worldwide.” Michael Rubin writing in National Review Online wondered before the trip “if she will cede the Assad regime a propaganda victory, as did Sen. Arlen Specter?”
You remember the whole spiel. At the time, I think most liberals — and, indeed, most Americans — understood this to be both unfair and also reflective of a pretty weird and wrongheaded underlying worldview. And yet, this is pretty similar to what Hillary Clinton’s saying in her criticism of Barack Obama. There’s this similar notion that the US can be mortally wounded by perfidious leaders having their photos taken with important American politicians, or that engaging in high-level diplomacy with a country is a reward we offer for good behavior rather than a standard method of relating to the world.
UPDATE: John McCain agrees with Clinton.