Assembling a "team of rivals," Obama learned too much from history -- or at least too much from a popular historical biography of a fellow Illinoisan, Abraham Lincoln. Making Hillary Clinton his Secretary of State, he all but chained himself to a mid-1980's Democratic Party foreign policy/national security political strategy, which prescribed "tough on defense" as the key to keeping Democrats in The White House. And by retaining George W. Bush's Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, the new president sealed his fate, tethering himself to what is now his own elective war, without an American purpose. America has "The Power Problem," as Chris Preble of the libertarian Cato Institute has explained in a book with that title. It is a field of defense industry dreams, military dominance built over a Cold War half century, demanding to be used because it's there, not because it makes us more safe, more prosperous, or more free. And we have developed "The Cult of the Presidency," defined in a work of that name by another Cato scholar, Gene Healy, a grandiose vision that misleads Leaders of the Free World to believe their place in history comes from projecting all that hard power. All this comes at a time when the nation is sick and afraid, with unemployment of the young in double digits, with retirement plans of the old on hold, with fathers and mothers wondering whether they can hang onto their homes. How would we even pay for another elective power projection? It is time for Congress to accept its Constitutional responsibility to impede Executive war-making. Are you listening, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are you ready to speak against this disaster from the House floor? Are you willing, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin, to call back from the Afghan abyss the youthful fellow Illinois colleague you touted to lead us? This is not the highway appropriations bill, health care re-structuring, or bailing out banks and auto companies. It's life and death.