The GOP before Rand’s filibuster and the GOP after are different animals.
As the day wore on, the hashtag #StandWithRand became the biggest-trending topic on Twitter. Congressmen and senators, including some who had been out to dinner that night with President Obama, began streaming back into the Capitol as word spread through town that something historic was afoot. Rising Tea Party star Ted Cruz gleefully read Twitter encouragements on the Senate floor and stressed that this moment was equally about the overreach of his fellow Texan George W. Bush. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) quoted impishly if randomly from rappers Jay-Z and Wiz Khalifa. As the hour approached midnight, suddenly there was Minority Leader (and former vociferous opponent of Rand Paul) Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on the floor singing Paul’s praises, followed quickly by Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.). In the course of the night you could feel the madness starting to lift.
When the sun came up, Washington,D.C., suddenly felt like a different place.