I only mention this development in the midst of other important stories because … sometimes there’s a man. I won’t say a hero, ’cause, what’s a hero? But sometimes there’s a man. And I’m talkin’ about the Dude here. Sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there.

But not in the race for Senate in Montana, dude:

An online draft effort is underway in Montana to draft actor Jeff Bridges — known for his role as The Dude in the cult classic, The Big Lebowski — to replace the embattled Democratic Sen. John Walsh on the ballot in November.

A Facebook page — Jeff Bridges for Montana U.S. Senator — had nearly 4,000 likes as of Tuesday morning. It bills itself as the “Montana citizen’s movement to draft Jeff Bridges to run for the Montana U.S. senate seat.”

Jeff Bridges taking the place of John Walsh, who just exited after the New York Times published allegations of plagiarism in relation to his 2007 master’s thesis at the Army War College? He could really tie the Democrats together, even if no one knows whether Bridges would offer any real substance to a run for office. He may be a good man, and thorough when it comes to his acting roles, but it’s not like Bridges eats and sleeps politics. It’s like what Lenin said — you look for the person who would benefit, and, uh … uh … you know what I’m trying to say. And what Montana Democrats hoped to do, too.

Anyway, Bridges has an answer to those who posted the effort on Facebook — they can [expletive] unpost it, as he told Howard Stern:

“I looked down and I see this thing ‘Jeff Bridges for Senator’ and I said, ‘What?’ … There’s a group of people that have called in and want me to run for senator of Montana, like 1,000 people, and I said, ‘Sue?’” Bridges said. “And she looks at me and says, ‘Don’t even think about it.’”

Perhaps she really said, “Don’t be fatuous, Jeffrey.” It’s just as well. When one runs for a seat in the US Senate, one has to buck up. You cannot drag this negative energy into the election.

As for Democrats in Montana, they have just a few days before their convention, when they have to find a candidate who will run in Walsh’s place for Baucus’ open seat. Republican Steve Daines already has a large lead and plenty of cash on hand to use in a general election, while Democrats are still trying to track down someone to lose badly in November against Daines. They claim to have some leads on a solution — in fact, they have four detectives working in shifts! — but the attempt to draft Bridges shows the level of desperation present in the party over their predicament.

Of course, this is their own fault. This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps to appoint to an open seat. The effort to hold onto Baucus’ seat looks a lot like this: