The single biggest problem with the American Constitution is that it’s not particularly funny. Where are the jokes? Where’s the wit? The double entendres? You can’t tell me that the founding fathers didn’t trade in some bawdy tales at the local pub following a hard day of bickering over search and seizure.
I am happy to announce that at last the problem has been solved—225 years too late, but solved it is—thanks to humorist Kevin Bleyer, a scribe for Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. In his book, Me the People (Random House), Bleyer takes a red pencil to democracy’s most hallowed laundry list, which, he insists, is simply a product of too much compromise.
Nitpicking his way through all the articles and amendments, Bleyer explains, in uproarious and fascinating fashion, why no less a whiner than George Washington himself was compelled to wish that the Constitution “had been made more perfect.” He then offers up his fixes. You think congress is overrun by special interests? Here’s the solution: We’re all members of congress and we all become our own special interests.
Thomas Jefferson wanted the Constitution rewritten every 19 years, says Bleyer, by way of explaining why he has undertaken this job. “So by Jefferson’s math, the Constitution of the United States should have been rewritten 11 times already… and let’s face it, The Constitution, as a literary property, is hot, hot, hot.”
I don’t think I can wait 225 years for another Kevin Bleyer rewrite. But for this one, you’ll have to wait till May 29 for it to be on sale.