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Montana Politics Steve Daines

Senator Daines, McConnell Errand Boy, Flops at Political Theater

While the big news from last night is the failure of the Republican Party to kill the Affordable Care Act and as many as 43,000 Americans each year, we’d be remiss not to give Montana’s very junior Senator, Steve Daines, the attention he was so desperately craving yesterday. While “the greatest deliberative body in the world” was grappling with legislation that affects one-sixth of the American economy and the lives of millions, Senator Daines decided it was appropriate timing to introduce an amendment to try to embarrass his Democratic colleagues.

After weeks of pretending not to have taken a position on the repeal bills, after attending a meeting with President Trump where he was encouraged to whip votes for whatever half-cocked bill came out of the bowels of the Senate and then lying about that, Daines decided against offering substantive reasoning for his position. Instead, he told the press he was going to offer a sham amendment for single payer health care, a stroke of genius not unlike a Little League team employing the old hidden ball trick to pick off a runner.

Of course, given Daines’s limitations as a thinker, his clever plot fizzled faster than his first campaign for the Senate

An exclusive look at Senator Daines planning his super clever amendment.

and the body largely ignored him, as they have since he was elected. Even the conservative blog Hot Air mocked his efforts to engage in “Jedi Mind Tricks.” While Bernie Sanders and the Democratic caucus were playing chess yesterday, Daines was playing “Chutes and Ladders” and got himself confused about even its rules.

It’s absolutely something watching Daines try to win influence with Mitch McConnell. After leading the shameful spectacle of silencing Elizabeth Warren and preventing her from reading the words of civil rights hero Coretta Scott King on the Senate floor, Daines seemingly didn’t learn his lesson. So eager is he to impress the likes of Mitch McConnell that he doesn’t seem to realize how he’s being played like a fool.

Daines is like a rich, very uncool kid who was admitted into a fraternity only because his father had enough money to buy beer for the rest of the brothers. On second thought, he’s not like that. He is that.

If his agenda wasn’t to destroy health care and the US economy to enrich plutocrats, I’d almost feel sorry for the guy.

We should demand better from our representatives in Congress. It’s bad enough that Daines and Gianforte have embraced a destructive agenda for the country, but could they at least stop embarrassing the rest of us while they pursue it?


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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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