The other day, someone I’ve known for years offered a pointed bit of criticism. “It’s easy for people like you to make long lists of things Congress should do to improve,” he said. “But you know good and well most of them won’t happen. So if you’re really serious, what’s the one most important thing it could do?”

He was right. “People like me” — that is, people who comment publicly about all the things Congress gets wrong — often have long laundry lists of fixes. But the most important fix? That takes some thinking.