For now, the Senate failed to renew provisions of the USA Patriot Act and the main force behind that was GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).  Unlike many of his colleagues in Congress, Sen. Paul did something truly remarkable: he followed through on his promise that he would do everything possible to force the sunset of the Patriot Act. Sen. Paul’s actions have provoked a swift and harsh response from many of his fellow Republicans, particularly from the party’s hawkish camp. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the 2008 Republican Presidential candidate, told reporters that he believes that Sen. Paul is the worst candidate that the GOP could put forward, particularly because of his stance on the Patriot Act and national security issues more broadly. Fellow GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) accused Sen. Paul of political grandstanding, and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the president pro tempore, accused Sen. Paul of aligning himself with “very radical people – from the left to the right.” Sen. Paul’s latest actions have made him both the golden child of libertarians and the black sheep of a crowded GOP presidential field. National security has become a central focus for Republican primary voters and Sen. Paul’s libertarian crusade has done nothing to strengthen his national security bona fides in a way that attracts traditional party voters. Sen. Paul is trying to find a way to cater to his base while attracting more traditional GOP voters but sometimes you can't have your cake and eat it too. 

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