Karl Rove in yesterday's Wall St Journal admitted to finally learning this one. The occasion came when no WMD were found in Iraq. One of the reasons for doing Iraq was, do Iraq before Saddam gets nukes, cause doing regime change on a nuclear power is much more dangerous than doing it on a third world cesspool.
When no nuke were found, democrats accused the Bush Administration of lying to the public and starting the war under false pretenses. In the op ed Rove confesses to urging the Administration to just ignore the charges rather than confront them head on. The "Bush lied, people died" sound bite did great damage to the administration.
Welcome to the real world Mr. Rove. Silence gives assent. If the the accused does not deny the accusations, people tend to think they must be true. We the people expect the accused to deny all charges, 'cause we have seen so many clearly guilty bums deny they did anything wrong. If someone doesn't even bother to deny charges, he must be guilty, 'cause an innocent man would have denied them vigorously.
Want another example? Mike Dukakis failed to respond to the Willie Horton ads. Willie Horton, as you may remember was a Massachusetts convict that Dukakis paroled. Willie committed some awful crime while out on parole. The republicans ran a TV ad showing a big ugly convict, and a revolving door and a voice over accusing Dukakis of being soft on crime. Dukakis didn't respond at all. There were a lot of things Dukakis could have said, but he just didn't bother, hoping the thing would blow over. It didn't and Dukakis lost the presidency.
I'm surprised the political mastermind Karl Rove is just wising up to this fact of life now in 2010.