Review: ‘Me the People:
One Man’ Selfless
to Rewrite the Constitution
United States of America’
By Kevin Bleyer
If, as the
proverb goes, “Many a true word is spoken in jest,” then there’s a lot of truth
(or at least “truthiness”) in humorist Kevin Bleyer’s Me the People: One Man’s Selfless Quest to Rewrite the Constitution of
the United States. Not so much in his rewritten Constitution as in his examination
of the history of how the Constitution was originally written. Beneath the
jokes and exaggerations, there is real history of how what is often now touted
as a masterpiece of the Founding Father’s brilliance is actually an imperfect,
lazy compromise written by a lot of people who wanted to get out of a hot, poorly ventilated room and get back to their homes, businesses and taverns.
for instance, who is called the father of the Constitution, was profoundly unhappy
with the final document. And Thomas Jefferson thought it would and should be rewritten
every few years.
Bleyer, a former
writer for Bill Maher’s Politically
Incorrect and The Daily Show with Jon
Stewart, gets a little too silly at times -- with a few too many references
to the film National Treasure, in which
Nicolas Cage steals the Declaration of Independence, and to Bleyer’s own
supposed plans to steal (or buy) the Constitution – but he also goes over the
history of the Articles of Confederation and each article of the Constitution
and the Bill of Rights (though he only covers a few of the other amendments in
detail). Supposedly he even interviews Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia,
who tells him the Constitution is dead, and that’s a good thing. Whether it’s a
real interview by Bleyer or cribbed from another interview, it effectively
presents and explains Scalia’s case for controversial rulings such as upholding
a state’s anti-sodomy law.
Me the People made me think and laugh.