A big loss for Schumer and the Democrats

All anyone needed to know about how the #SchumerShutdown was going to end could be found in the votes of five red-sta...

Posted: Jan 23, 2018 4:54 AM
Updated: Jan 23, 2018 4:54 AM

All anyone needed to know about how the #SchumerShutdown was going to end could be found in the votes of five red-state Democrats who, on Friday night, bailed on their party's leader and supported President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's position to keep the government open.

Joe Manchin (West Virginia), Claire McCaskill (Missouri), Joe Donnelly (Indiana), Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota) and Doug Jones (Alabama) bucked Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer because they knew there was no way to explain why their party was prioritizing 700,000 non-US citizens in the DACA program over nine million children who rely on the CHIP program for insurance. Four of those senators are on the ballot this November, and the other-- Jones -- just got to Washington and seems like a guy who wants to stay there when he faces re-election in 2020.

A lack of Democratic unity destroyed Schumer's leverage. A smarter tactic than enabling a shutdown would have been for Democrats to offer McConnell nine votes on Friday night, forcing the majority leader to come up with 51 Republican votes (which he did not have). Had the Democrats made a better strategic choice, they might have won the fight narrative.

Instead, Senate Democrats owned this shutdown as headlines in various media outlets correctly assigned Schumer the blame. CNN's polling was clear: Americans -- by a 56% to 34% margin -- said DACA should not take priority over keeping the government open, and voters believe a CHIP extension is more important than fixing DACA.

McConnell read his cards and the situation just right. He knew the red-state Democrats would never rejoin their party's left wing, and he worked with Sen. Lindsey Graham to recapture some of the Republicans who voted against the original deal by crafting the February 8 strategy promising to handle immigration at that time. Interestingly, McConnell and Graham offered Schumer the three-week off ramp Friday night and he rejected it, giving his conference a weekend of pain and a bended knee on Monday.

Immigration wasn't ready Friday night, but CHIP, a more popular program, was. Schumer misread that badly and paid dearly. Left-wing Democratic activists are livid with their leadership, but they ought to take a deep breath and see this for what it is: a win for people who want problems solved.

Because McConnell has delivered another political win to Trump, here's what is going to happen: the government will reopen; the CHIP program gets six years of funding; and immigration reform -- including deserved legal certainty for the Dreamers -- will find a "level playing field," according to McConnell himself in the Senate by February 8. Trump is oh-so-close to doing something neither of the two previous Oval Office occupants could do -- signing into law comprehensive immigration reform with real border security upgrades.

McConnell turning Schumer's strategic blunder into another win for the President (just the way he did on tax cuts, in which the Democrats destroyed their credibility by promising death and Armageddon) is music to the ears of Republican strategists who believe party unity is the best way forward for the GOP to stave off Democrats in the midterm.

Today, the GOP is united and ought to stay that way as they deliver an immigration package to the president's desk. It is the Democrats that appear divided, a bad omen for a party that squandered its opportunity in the last election and may be in danger of doing so in this midterm.

CNN's polling over the weekend indicated a huge narrowing in the generic ballot in the wake of the GOP tax cut. If the most committed Democratic activists turn on their party leaders over this shutdown, and if the economy continues to hum along, Republicans could easily hold their majorities come November.

And if they do, Donald Trump can thank Mitch McConnell, who has continuously delivered wins to his desk that prove to the American people that Republicans -- entrusted with full control in 2016 -- can effectively govern.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 118587

Reported Deaths: 3310
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds8050179
DeSoto728580
Harrison549185
Jackson480088
Rankin404686
Madison386194
Lee366582
Forrest311878
Jones296684
Washington2627100
Lafayette255043
Lauderdale2546135
Lamar231940
Oktibbeha204855
Bolivar203979
Neshoba1868111
Lowndes181962
Panola172040
Leflore170688
Sunflower164349
Warren156156
Monroe153873
Pontotoc150620
Marshall148430
Lincoln143359
Pike140656
Copiah139336
Scott127029
Coahoma125837
Union125825
Yazoo123434
Simpson123149
Grenada122939
Tate121039
Itawamba117226
Leake116342
Pearl River116360
Holmes115060
Adams109445
Prentiss109220
Alcorn104512
Wayne102722
George101719
Covington98829
Marion95943
Tippah94924
Newton87227
Hancock86828
Chickasaw86727
Tallahatchie85526
Winston85221
Tishomingo82741
Attala80527
Clarke77053
Clay71022
Jasper69617
Walthall64427
Calhoun63313
Noxubee60217
Smith60216
Yalobusha56416
Montgomery55823
Lawrence54414
Claiborne53916
Tunica53717
Perry52423
Carroll50312
Stone49114
Greene48118
Humphreys45117
Amite42813
Quitman4236
Jefferson Davis42112
Webster37813
Benton36710
Wilkinson34221
Kemper33315
Sharkey28715
Jefferson27910
Franklin2513
Choctaw2096
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 161537

Reported Deaths: 2718
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23769383
Mobile17039318
Tuscaloosa10539141
Montgomery10435199
Madison946798
Shelby756365
Baldwin674369
Lee662465
Calhoun468962
Marshall445251
Etowah436552
Morgan426335
Houston421234
DeKalb351229
Elmore326558
St. Clair307042
Limestone295131
Walker285593
Talladega273937
Cullman260025
Lauderdale237143
Jackson221917
Autauga210331
Colbert208232
Franklin207732
Blount198825
Russell19763
Chilton190932
Dallas188127
Coffee182611
Dale180852
Covington176729
Escambia175331
Clarke138017
Chambers137047
Pike135514
Tallapoosa135387
Marion110331
Barbour10459
Marengo103522
Butler101541
Winston94313
Geneva9357
Lawrence87733
Pickens87418
Bibb85615
Randolph84316
Hale78030
Cherokee76114
Clay75812
Washington75412
Henry7286
Lowndes71728
Monroe66010
Bullock65017
Crenshaw61130
Perry5966
Fayette59413
Cleburne5779
Wilcox57112
Conecuh56513
Macon54120
Lamar5165
Sumter47721
Choctaw39412
Greene34616
Coosa2143
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