Excellent points from Kevin Drum and Timothy Noah who observe that you can't understand the erosion of congressional authority over warmaking without recognizing that members of congress fundamentally don't want to take responsibility for these kinds of decisions. I would extend the analysis and observe that much the same can be said of the judicial system's large role in making policy over certain kinds of "hot button" social issues -- members of congress like to whine about this when decisions go in unpopular directions, but they don't want to do anything about it because it's convenient for them to avoid dealing with it.

In the ideal world of a member of congress he would have tons of authority over issues that allow him to funnel money or other favors to powerful in-district groups, but get to dodge making decisions about everything else under the sun.

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