The smartest way is often an easier way...unless you widen the scope a little and understand the work behind developing the smarts to make an easier way.
So no, an easier way is definitely not always a bad way, however an easier way isn't really easier, if you take all things into account. It just looks easier if you've only just approached the situation.
Take for example:
When I sit at home on saturday and debate politics with you guys, am I being lazy?
It depends entirely upon whether or not you have knowledge to impart, or are prepared to garner information to exchange. You could just waft in and wave your arms without the slightest idea of anything genuine to say, just to go through some motions of seeming authoritive. This would be the lazy way of trying to establish a reputation among others, instead of having one based upon visible character.
It is actions upon which people are judged, ultimately others observe your actions, demeanour and so forth. Your words they will discuss, they will even acquiesce, but when it comes to which example they would follow, most often it will be those whom they respect. One whose character is visible at a given forum.
Lazy people do get their just deserts: little empowerment. However they do tend to cause quite a bit of extra work for everyone else, for no good reason and little achieved.
(edit) uh-oh. Sorry, when I say something like this with somebody's quote I should make clear, it was a valid and important perspective you were bringing up Web Rider, hence my addressing it directly. I don't think you're lazy.