While I agree on much of the substance with Paul’s critics, I’m at a loss to understand all the outrage over what most of them think was a waste of time…

But the novel nature of drones does underscore an important point: The war on terror is not World War II, and al-Qaeda isn’t a uniformed enemy. And therefore it doesn’t seem unreasonable to want to update our laws to take that into account. More important, in a confusing new kind of conflict, a reminder of our core principles — our American dogma — strikes me as a good thing.

Unfortunately, the dogma that dogma is a bad thing is an old fad in America.

I believe a fundamental, dogmatic faith in the Constitution is a good thing. A dogmatic view that the president isn’t a king but a servant of the people is a good thing. A dogmatic insistence that the president give a member of Congress a straight answer about when the government can kill Americans is a good thing. And a dogmatic conviction that an American life has special status in the eyes of the government is a good thing too.