In case you missed the origins of this story earlier in the week, George Will took to his usual platform at the Washington Post with some words of caution regarding federal government intervention regarding sexual assaults on the nation’s college campuses. In it, he attempted to inject corrective remedies into some of the hyperbole currently engulfing the topic. Of course, in his usual fashion, Will led off with a paragraph which seemed designed to poke a stick in a few wasp nests.

Colleges and universities are being educated by Washington and are finding the experience excruciating. They are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous (“micro-aggressions,” often not discernible to the untutored eye, are everywhere), and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate. And academia’s progressivism has rendered it intellectually defenseless now that progressivism’s achievement, the regulatory state, has decided it is academia’s turn to be broken to government’s saddle.

A careful reading of Will’s full editorial would show that he was essentially making two points. First, the “math” being cited to define the number of sexual assaults taking place was unfit for a 3rd grade Common Core tutorial. Second, Will noted that expanding and inflating the definition of sexual assaults to include micro-agressions – such as a boy staring for too long at a young coed with a low cut blouse – would tend to dilute the pool of actual assaults and diminish the seriousness of the real problem.

Such a stance brought the usual list of suspects up on their hind legs and into an immediate attack posture. This culminated in a coalition of Democratic Senators (Feinstein, Blumenthal, Tammy Baldwin and Robert Casey) penning a letter to the WaPo, chastising them for allowing Will to breath the same air as the rest of us.

After running their letter and litany of complaints, this weekend the Post ran a rare response from George Will. Here’s a key sample.

The administration asserts that only 12 percent of college sexual assaults are reported. Note well: I did not question this statistic. Rather, I used it.

I cited one of the calculations based on it that Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute has performed {link}. So, I think your complaint is with the conclusion that arithmetic dictates, based on the administration’s statistic. The inescapable conclusion is that another administration statistic that one in five women is sexually assaulted while in college is insupportable and might call for tempering your rhetoric about “the scourge of sexual assault.”

The Senators were likely faced with the difficult task of flipping back and forth to dictionary.com to translate Will’s writing, so we should probably have some sympathy. For the entire time I have been writing I have cited George Will as one of the top five wordsmiths of our generation. Whether you agree with him or not… whether you think he leans too far in one philosophical direction or the other… there is no denying that Will is a master of the English language and flexes it like Mr. Olympia in the final pose-off. If you’re going to pick a fight with someone in the pages of a leading national paper, you’d best be loaded for bear before you go after George Will.

Sadly, that was a lesson that the Senators learned a bit too late. But all of these entries are worth a read if you’re looking for some good material this weekend and are interested in the actual facts behind the very serious subject of sexual assault on campus and elsewhere.