As a routine historical matter we assign responsibility to presidents for the actions of the government and their appointees on their watch. MacLeod notes that Congress passed the Alien and Sedition and Espionage Acts by large majorities and that Wilson allegedly agreed to the Acts in order to forestall even harsher methods. Even if this were true, Wilson still fueled anti-German sentiments in ways you would not expect from someone who opposed such legislation. As with Wilson’s blind-eye to anti-lynching laws – both as governor and president — Wilson’s thirst for political expediency is hardly glowing testimony to either his leadership or his decency. If we are to defend Wilson on the grounds that he was a kite on the winds of progressivism, tactically I can live with that, however much I might disagree with it substantively.