COMMENTARY | Watching George Will, that dry, conservative intellectual, is always a joy. He recently showed up on “The Colbert Report” and, according to Newsbusters, owned that show’s madcap host, Stephen Colbert.
Will was there to sell his latest baseball book, a history of Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs. But the conservation strayed a little. Here is an example of Will instructing Colbert as to why liberals tend to be reactionary.
“Colbert said. ‘I love things that are old. I’m a conservative, you’re a conservative. I don’t anything should ever change. Do you think that Wrigley Field — ?’
“‘No, that makes you a liberal,’ Will interrupted.
“‘That nothing should ever change?’ Colbert asked, obviously surprised at his guest’s remark.
“‘That’s right.’ the Fox News Channel contributor replied.
:Colbert then stated: ‘I didn’t realize that. But conservatives want to conserve things. I hate to go all etymological on you. I know you’re a bit of a wordsmith, but why do liberals want things to stay the same?’
“‘Because whatever exists should continue,’ the guest replied, pointing to the 1935 establishment of Social Security as proof of his assertion. ‘Do you drive a 1935 car?’ Will then asked.
“‘No, I drive a Tesla.’ Colbert said, drawing laughter from the studio audience at the mention of the expensive electronic vehicle.
“‘I’m sure you do,’ Will responded. ‘Do you watch a 1935 television set?’
“‘No, in 1935, a television set, I think, was a potato field,’ the host stated lamely.
“But Social Security, liberals believe, should go on just as it always has,” Will asserted.
“‘So we should get rid of Social Security?’ Colbert asked, obviously taking an extreme point of view on the subject. When Will said he didn’t think the entire program should be shut down, Colbert again responded in the extreme: ‘I think we should end it,’ he said. ‘Am I more of a conservative than you are?’
‘Yes,’ Will replied flatly.
“‘OK, I was trying to lead you into a field where people would shoot you in the head,’ Colbert joked lamely before steering the conversation back to baseball.”
Will has been engaged in the cut and thrust of television political combat since Colbert was a college student at Northwestern. After crossing swords with people like Sam Donaldson, it is not remarkable that he should run rings around Colbert, whose shtick as a psychorighty has gotten altogether too tiresome. It is probably fortunate that he will forced to become a more conventional talker when he replaces David Letterman in 2015.
In the meantime, watch the video at the link to hear Will’s explanation as to how the Cubs not only caused the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald but helped to win the Cold War,.