It doesn't HAVE to come in the form of appeasement. But I think it's more interesting if the leader does something that has us storm into his office and tell him or her they're making a mistake. In MMO terms, I think ********'s story got more interesting when players were thrust into a position contrary to the racial leaders instead of having a big love fest of pride and support for them. NPCs and leaders don't have to be people you happily support.
I just think one compelling and fairly logical stance for a politician in STO is:
"We can't be fighting to put out brushfires everywhere. We need peace on at least one front, even if that comes at a price. Heaven help me if I'm wrong. I don't like it. It's a costly peace. But compromises have to be made somewhere."
DS9 gave us a war with a handful of closely allied enemies and most of this half of the galaxy on Starfleet's side and it required tremendous sacrifices and consequences. I feel like we need to feel that. We should be getting casualty lists in we post for our crews. We should feel stretched thin. We can't have instability on all sides without being crushed and we or our leaders should be forced to make weak, morally questionable, politically questionable, or dangerous decisions.
the problem is you're thinking that a MMO is the same as a TV show..
what creates tension in one just creates frustration and eye rolling at stupidity in the other.
we CAN'T march into the office of the president and give some great speach on how it's the wrong way for the federation. we can just click through the dialogue and maybe chose a line of text to say at best.
haveing a president whose on stupid pills is just annoying, by all means dramatic tension would be good but it needs to be over something real, not a fake position that no rational person could support.
which is the differance between your ideas and every example you cited,
in every example you cited the Federation Presidents acted as they must and as the law dictated.