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I have noticed in reports regarding the seditious senatorial group attempting to invalidate President Biden’s election that they are identified in one of three ways: Hawley, Cruz, Johnson and their friends; Hawley, Cruz, Johnson and the others; Hawley, Cruz, Johnson and their ilk. Steve Daines is never mentioned by name.

This establishes two truths: First, Steve Daines is so inconsequential that there’s no point in identifying him as an individual. And, indeed, if one looks at his legislative record of his first six years, one sees that Steve, like the Peter Sellars character in Being There, ‘wants to watch.’ Does he effectively accomplish anything? No. Expect more of the same for the next six years.

Second, Steve Daines is cynical. He can be involved in this Hawley/Cruz/Johnson stunt but remain only as another, a friend, or an ilk.

There are consequences to his cynicism. As a ‘friend,’ he will garner favor with the Trump supporters of the state, perhaps allowing him to pretend in perpetuity to be a senator. As an ‘other,’ he will gain no notice from anyone—i.e., fill a seat, fly to Montana but never meet with his constituents so that we say, “Oh, yeah, I saw Jon Tester in town yesterday! Did you read about the legislation Tester introduced? Oh, and who’s that other senator we have?”

But as an ‘ilk’, there may be unpleasantness ahead for him. He will be ridiculed and shamed and resisted because of his cynicism, and many of us Montanans will talk about the fines the Constitution outlines for those ilks who are seditious.

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Glen Chamberlain