“A lot of Democrats have tended to be less than courageous on a lot of those issues,” said Michael Lux, co-founder of Progressive Strategies, a political consulting firm. “I think it is great that he is somebody who has a clear position on those issues, and I admire him for advocating strongly for it even if it I don’t agree with him on 98 percent of his economic ideas.”

Dean, who ran for president pledging to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic party, concurs.

“I welcome his willingness—maybe he can give Democrats the courage to stand up for what’s right,” he said. “He can certainly be a good co-sponsor for legislation.”

Sirota said he has been slammed in the progressive blogosphere for suggesting as much.

“I think that as progressives we should say that what Rand Paul represents is encouraging for the entire state of American politics. He at least suggests the possibility of a transpartisan coalition around what I consider to be extremely important issues. You have to take strange bedfellows where they are.”