Maddow's book, which has been a labor of love for the MSNBC host for a number of years, investigates how U.S. national security policy has changed since the Vietnam War, resulting in a severe disconnect between the military, government, and American public. "We didn't feel like we were a country at war," Maddow said to Stewart. "We felt like we're a country that sends the military off to war."
In a particularly animated part of the interview, Stewart wondered how national security policy became more centralized under the executive branch of government. "Is it impossible to rein that in on some level when you're talking about waging war?" he asked.
"I think we can't ever expect presidents to give back power they already have...Congress actually has to take it. And after Vietnam, Congress actually got up on its hind legs and asserted its constitutional prerogative to do it," Maddow said.
Stewart paused and asked, "Congress is a setter? Congress is some type of labrador?"
"It's very unbalanced but impressive," Maddow laughed as she hilariously imitated a dog on its hind legs by leaning back in her chair and flapping her hands.
Maddow went back to her earlier point and said, "But [Congress has] fallen back onto all fours since, and they ought to be more assertive again."