Remember school? A very large amount of school involved reading things and then taking tests. Remember that?
Some tests required you to synthesize the information from the book with critical thinking and creativity. But most test just asked you to demonstrate that you read the book and remembered what you read.
Maybe the nerd costume is cover for the fact that George Will was terrible at school:
The Federalist Papers are in the public domain; Will has no excuse for referencing them without having read them.
So... stupid or crazy?