I share your concerns about constitutional protections, but you seem to be twisting Rand Paul's words. Where does he say that "'constitutional protections' were appropriately preserved?"
You're reading "This was demonstrated" as an endorsement of the bullet points you provide. But it is not. Use the same grammatical structure in another way.
Example: Let's say your favorite baseball team loses a game. They start off behind 8-0 because the starting pitcher has a terrible outing. They rally, but still lose by a final score of 8-7. After the game, the coach is interviewed by the media. He says "Winning baseball games requires us to have solid starting pitching. This was demonstrated tonight." Is that an endorsement of the pitching? No. It's an observation.
I can see how one might read more into Rand Paul's statement than meets the eye. But one can also do an alternate reading. I'm sure Rand Paul is aware of the civil liberties fiasco that took place. "This was demonstrated" could be seen as a subtle jab.
Yes, Rand Paul is playing the "go-along-to-get-along" game. Yes, it is frustrating at times. Yes, there are times you want him to say/do more. And even a pragmatic, strategically oriented person like me has a soft spot for the candor of his father. But we should take the long view here. If you really think Rand Paul is selling out, don't support him. I'll understand. But let's not read too much into ambiguous statements.
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