Insult mixed with wit/humor/sarcasm can inspire much diminished counter attack if it hits right. Not sure if they make'em any more.
I liked this Churchill anecdote from the article. Churchill once was having a nasty argument with a fellow (lady) Member of Parliament...
Mr. Churchill, you are drunk.
Madame, you are ugly.
Mr. Churchill, you are extremely drunk!
And you, Madame, are extremely ugly. But tomorrow, I shall be sober.
Indeed .. "Great humorists are great insulters."