On November 2, 2010, Rand Paul was elected to hold the Kentucky Senate seat, (which incumbent Jim Bunning had decided not to run for again amidst collapsing fundraising and poll numbers). Rand was the quote-unquote-Republican nominee for the seat -- but Paul's election in actuality represents a kind of defeat for the Republican Party. For, Rand ran as a staunch libertarian, like his famed father, Texas Congressman (and one-time Libertarian Party presidential candidate) Ron Paul, and so quickly become the favorite son of the Tea Party in the Kentucky primary, where he beat the anointed Republican candidate Trey Grayson. Rand trounced Grayson by nearly 24% of the vote -- this despite Grayson's political experience (he was Kentucky's secretary of state) and Harvard pedigree, and Grayson having the backing of most of the Republican political establishment, including Republican Party leader Mitch McConnell. Rand did win the support of Sarah Palin, and of outgoing Senator Bunning, who had been stung by McConnell's treachery in hobbling Bunning's fundraising efforts.

Rand was not the typical major party candidate; he is an ophthalmologist specialising in corneal transplant surgery, and, at the age of forty-seven, has never held any political elected office before (though he's been supportive of his father's political efforts, including several runs for the White House). Rand's libertarianism is unflinching: The very first bill he placed on the floor of the United States Senate was to eliminate all foreign aid to Israel. He vocally and articulately supports outlawing the income tax and dismantling all of the elements of the welfare state, including Social Security, Medicare, and executive branch cash cows like the Department of Education. Like his father, he advocates a foreign policy of aggressive disengagement, calling for the immediate withdrawal of all US troops from other countries, and so effectively for an immediate end to the US actions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, South Korea and elsewhere. He backs elimination of liability waivers through incorporation, and would extend legal liability to all shareholders of every company as a means of restoring corporate responsibility and eliminating the atmosphere of bailout entitlement.

Although the Republican establishment immediately sought to save face following the primary election by a show of coalescence behind Rand, their response was a band-aid over a gaping wound in the party, one that sows the seeds of its destruction in the face of a true conservatism, one which brooks no government invasion of the boardroom or the bedroom: for the first time, the Republicans have been defeated by a Libertarian candidate in a national election. Rand's victory in seeking an open Senate seat left his national conservative supporters short of an open primary election upset against a sitting Republican (this could have be achieved by the defeat of John McCain in the Arizona primary, but this opportunity was missed), this primary win and subsequent election put Rand on the path of achieving the highest political office secured by an avowed Libertarian, and makes him an instant frontrunner to be the Libertarian Party candidate for the Presidency in 2012 or 2016. At his still relatively young age, politically, he had set a place for himself as a powerful voice for the Libertarian movement for decades to come.

This voice was most forcefully established when Rand staged a filibuster against legislation allowing the US to engage in continued drone attacks.

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