Founders' Fuzziness

Thanks to them, Congress and Presidents have always tangled over war

The President proposes, and the Congress disposes," the old saying goes, and it suggests that while Presidents take the initiative, the Legislative Branch has the ultimate say. But when it comes to warmaking, that homely aphorism is dead wrong. President Bush has proposed sending more troops to Iraq. In theory, it is now up to Congress to ratify or reject his request. But neither the Constitution's genius nor more than two centuries of experience have managed to make this a contest between equals. As has happened so often in the past, Congress will once again be struggling to punch above its...

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