Few men have ever actually managed to wield the pen like a sword. Topping my motley list of favorite verbal fencers is the unlikely duo of Christopher Hitchens and George Will. The former, now deceased (and at a most inopportune time, given the proximity to the death of Kim Jong-Il), could deliver a rhetorical salvo of such gravity that it almost physically hurt. The other—Will—is rather a sharpshooter by contrast, able to wield words like push pins to a voodoo doll.
Will’s recent attack skewered Donald Trump, presently supporting Mitt Romney in his presidential campaign. On Sunday’s This Week, Will referred to the billionaire real estate tycoon as a “bloviating ignoramus,” who is “redundant evidence that if your net worth is high enough your IQ can be very low and you can still intrude into American politics.” While Romney should not be so spineless as to follow Will’s every word, he should take this description for what it is: advice. Yet it is Trump’s fluid funding that likely keeps Romney keeping him around instead of hacking away the piece of political excrescence that Trump in fact is. Money has its limits, after all, and Trump’s response ought to have been indication thereof: “George Will may be the dumbest (and most overrated) political commentator of all time.”
Far from refuting Will’s allegations, Trump has categorically and patently confirmed them. Will, who might be the most well-read and respected journalist on the planet (he also lectured at Harvard, received a Pulitzer Prize, and holds a PhD from Princeton), occasionally suffers several lapses in perspective. Still, he would never buy into the phallic fixation—the birther controversy—that is the plaything of those men ill-suited for the task of actual political punditry. His column space at the Post is far more valuable than anything in Trump’s portfolio, and were erudition and wit a species of currency, Will would rank among Forbes’ finest. Meanwhile, Trump’s relevance recedes at a speed proportional to that of his hair line, and his efforts to save it are about as embarrassing.