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Madison Fears He Made Constitution’s Impeachment Clause Too Hard for Idiots to Grasp

February 14, 2021

Photograph from Getty
Photograph from Getty

THE AFTERLIFE (The Borowitz Report)—The late James Madison, widely credited with drafting the United States Constitution, said on Saturday that he was concerned that he made the document’s impeachment clause too hard for idiots to grasp.

In his first-ever interview from beyond the grave, Madison said that, when he drafted the Constitution, he thought that he had made the section on impeachment “so clear that even a total numbskull could understand it.”

“I remember being in the writers’ room and asking Alexander Hamilton if we should put something in there about how a President should be convicted if he attempts a violent overthrow of the government,” Madison said. “Hamilton was, like, ‘First of all, that’s so obvious, we don’t want to insult people’s intelligence by spelling it out. And, second, a President would have to be a complete and utter psycho to try something like that. You have a wild imagination, my friend.’ ”

Madison said that he heeded Hamilton’s advice, but now harbors some regrets about doing so. “I know hindsight is 20/20, but if I had to write the impeachment part all over again, I’d really dumb it down,” he said.

Andy Borowitz is a Times best-selling author and a comedian who has written for The New Yorker since 1998. He writes The Borowitz Report, a satirical column on the news.



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