I know that writing about Steve Daines’s cowardice when it comes to facing Montana voters is a bit like writing about the sun rising in the East, but his shameful effort to pretend today that he cares about our opinions reached a new low today. While the Daines town halls are typically orchestrated shams ensuring that the Senator never faces a challenging question from a concerned constituent without the ability to screen calls or be fed a talking point by a staffer, today’s effort was especially craven.
Daines called Montanans on his phone list at 4:06 p.m. On a workday. While that may have been an ideal time for people who eat supper at five and go to sleep after Jeopardy!, it’s hardly an ideal time for Daines to face questions from working Montanans who are paying more taxes so he and corporations could pay less, from Montana teachers who want to question his support for Trump’s disastrous Education Secretary, or even from people who support him.
4:06 on a workday is the time someone who doesn’t want you to answer calls, a time when even telemarketers realize no one will take the call. It’s the time when someone who has such contempt for his constituents that he doesn’t even bother to hide it anymore calls to pretend that he’s listening to their views.
And Daines has a lot to answer for this week. Given new revelations about how the FBI and Senate ignored credible reports of more incidents of sexual harassment and assault by Brett Kavanaugh, Daines owes it to us to explain not only why he voted for Kavanaugh, but why he and his staff were so willing to smear a survivor coming forward with her story. Given his sickly deference to President Trump on matters large and small, he owes us an answer about whether he supports Trump’s promise that we would start a war in the Middle East at the direction of the Saudi regime that is committing genocide in Yemen and murdering journalists.
Instead, Daines called us while we worked, something he and the Republican-controlled Senate so rarely manage to do.
Senator Daines has never cared what we think. From the outset, he’s seen his work in Washington as just one thing: finding more ways to enrich himself at our expense. Is it too much to ask that he stop insulting our intelligence and stop pretending like anything we say will change that?