I wrote more than one post at LGF calling on George W. Bush to stand up and confront his critics. I still think it was a big mistake for him to let so many of the worst smears go unanswered. Barack Obama appears to have learned that political lesson.
It’s no longer a good idea to just try to ignore this stuff, in the Internet age when smears and falsehoods can propagate across the world at the speed of light. Bush made a bad decision to ignore the smears and hope they’d just go away, just like I was mistaken when I used to believe that I could allow total free speech in the comments at LGF and just count on the community to police itself. It doesn’t work that way, unfortunately.