Apparently Rand Paul’s senate voting record shows that he actually votes with the GOP on a majority of bills. And that he actually collaborates a fair amount. As well as with current Tea Party rival Ted Cruz. In Nevada, however, it seems the Pauls’ posse – their supporters in the Sliver State – who stormed the halls of local power in 2012, have been ousted in elections held since that date. The buzz is that they don’t work well with other Nevada Republicans and were focused on helping Rand Paul to the exclusion perhaps of other Nevada GOP politicians and activists. That seems to have gone over as well as blowing smoke in a blackjack dealer’s face or spilling your beverage on the felt in Vegas. The question now seems to be whether Rand’s supporters in Nevada will make nice and be more of team players. Do they want to? Isn’t the point of Paul and his libertarian supporters to change – a nice way of saying fire – the GOP establishment in Washington DC who they view as guilty of the same sins as any big government Democrat?

Yes and no. Rand Paul seems to honestly want to reach out and broaden his own tent, but as a libertarian, will he work with those Republicans who clearly aren’t? His senate record shows he consistently votes against government surveillance of Americans and that puts him at odds on occasion with defense hawks. His foreign policy stance in general is a problem for conservatives and his words in New Hampshire on immigration – “the 11 million, I think, are never going home, don’t need to be sent home” – riles them as well. But above all, if Rand Paul is to be a true contender, his supporters will have to show that they can work with other GOP members. Unless Rand and his supporters, in Nevada and elsewhere, are truly not interested in collaboration. In which case Rand starts to look like a better dressed, and cuter, version of Ross Perot.

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