Article Two of the United States Constitution is a handwritten high school history essay in M.L.A. format. The header says James Madison. A.P. Government & Politics. Design the Ideal Executive Branch. 17 September 1787. The essay title is Balancing the Executive Branch, colon, A President Who is Both Check-er and Check-ee. The high school history teacher marked the essay up with handwritten comments in red ink. The first comment at the top of the essay says please see your English teacher for a lesson on capitalization. Referring to the excessive capitalization in the Constitution. The second comment says margin size doesn't follow MLA guidelines. Referring to how high school students mess with the margin size to make a paper look longer. After the first paragraph of Section One, Article Two, the teacher writes the words good thesis. The comments go downhill from there.<br />
The teacher accuses Madison of sexism for referring to the president as He. After he writes that a presidential term will last four years, the teacher asks if there are any term limits, which is a joke about the Twenty-second Amendment. The teacher tells Madison he needs to proofread more, because he repeatedly spells the word choose as c-h-u-s-e, not c-h-o-o-s-e. The teacher calls Madison’s long, rambling section about the Electoral College Needlessly convoluted and prioritizing flash over substance. The teacher calls the section Pure nonsense and asks what Madison thinks he is saying there, then remarks that the only line he needs is, quote, The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President. End quote.
The teacher writes that Madison needs to break up his many run-on sentences. The teacher writes that the section about presidential eligibility is gratuitously exclusionary and says Madison should be nice. The teacher comments that the class will discuss the problems with this section in their unit on Privilege & Internal Bias next week. When Madison writes that presidents must be at least thirty-five years old, the teacher comments that Madison recently turned thirty-five and asks if that is a coincidence, implying that it is not. The teacher writes that Section One uses a lot of words to say very little and accuses Madison of just trying to hit his word count. Regarding the emoluments clause, Madison writes the phrase, quote, the President shall, at stated times, end quote. The teacher asks for specific times. The teacher also asks what happens if the President receives Emoluments and Congress won't do anything to stop him, in a reference to former President Donald Trump. The teacher then admonishes Madison, asking why he wasted three hundred seventy-six words on an unnecessary Elector system but couldn't spare another twenty-to-thirty words to properly define what is and is not considered an Emolument.In the section about presidential confirmation, the teacher writes that Madison should cut the phrase, quote, Or Affirm, end quote, from the presidential oath. This is the end of Section One.
In Section Two, the teacher says Madison should clearly define the term Militia, just in case that becomes relevant in a century or two. The teacher says the description of presidential advisors is too wordy, and he should just write that the president can ask for advice. Regarding the presidential pardon, the teacher asks if the president can pardon his own crimes and tells Madison to think of the big picture. This is a reference to Trump, Nixon, and other presidents who break the law.The next paragraph talks more about advice, and the teacher writes, quote, I think the president is all set for advice, end quote. Regarding senate approval for presidential nominations, the teacher asks what happens if the Senate never concurs and refuses to work with the President? Does the government shut down indefinitely? Then what? Next to the phrase Judges of the Supreme Court, the teacher asks how many judges will be on the court. Next to the word inferior, the teacher comments that calling someone inferior is rude. It is a silly joke.Sections Two through Four are much shorter than Section One, so the teacher tells Madison not to skimp on details when creating an entire branch of the federal government.In the Section Three on the State of the Union, the teacher writes that the phrase, quote, He shall, from time to time, end quote, is too vague and that Madison should give details. The teacher is clearly exasperated by this point. The teacher asks why the State of the Union is necessary, because won’t Congress have that information already? Next to the phrase Extraordinary Occasions, the teacher asks what counts as an "extraordinary occasion?" A wedding? Solar eclipse? War? A child's birthday party?Madison writes the phrase, quote, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper, end quote. The teacher writes the word “huh?” with a question mark next to it in small and exasperated font. At the end of Section Three, which was only one paragraph, the teacher writes, quote, Section Three is another long-winded way of saying "he will both give and  receive advice." That is not an action unique to the Presidency! End quote.Section Four is even shorter than Section Three. It is just one sentence, which says, quote, The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors, end quote. Next to the Section, the teacher writes, quote, is this the end? Where's the rest of it!? Holding leadership accountable shouldn't be an afterthought. Very lazy! End quote. The teacher underlines the words treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors, and comments that Madison once again needs to define his terms to prevent any confusion down the line. It is another reference to Trump. That is the end of Madison’s quote-unquote essay, a-k-a Article Two of the United States Constitution.
Under the Article Two essay, the teacher leaves comments in a section called Final Thoughts. The comments say, quote, One. Some interesting ideas here, but shoddy execution. Insufficient document for long-term governance. Two. Seems like you didn’t want to include many specifics about this position so as not to offend your pal George Washington, given everyone's presumption that your class will elect him President. Three. Far too much focus on who can give/receive advice. Four. In order to sell your class on the idea of a strong central government, you and your Federalist buddies John and Alexander will likely need to expound upon the details of your Constitution in a series of additional Papers. Five. Your proposal for an entire branch of government is a mere nineteen run-on sentences, with an audacious ninety-one commas scattered roughshod throughout. That’s too many commas, James. Final grade, sixty-three out of one hundred. D minus. End quote.