How Democrats lost the shutdown

The history of gov...

Posted: Jan 23, 2018 7:04 AM
Updated: Jan 23, 2018 7:04 AM

The history of government shutdowns -- and the polling on this shutdown in particular -- suggested that Democrats were poised to benefit politically from the shuttering of the federal bureaucracy.

And then, suddenly on Monday afternoon, Democrats gave in, with all but 16 of their 48 members voting to reopen the government with a three-week continuing resolution and a vague promise from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that they would get a fair hearing in their efforts to extend the DACA immigration program.

Why?

Good question! And one that many liberals within the party -- up to and including the half-dozen or so Democrats in the Senate planning runs for president in 2020 -- are asking in the wake of the Democrats' capitulation. (Read my-winners and losers from the shutdown here.)

The answer -- I think -- is that red-state Democrats up for re-election in 2018 panicked. As I've noted many times in this space, there are 10 Democrats running for re-election this fall in states Trump won in 2016 -- including five in states where the President won by double digits.

For them, the shutdown was rapidly being painted as the Democratic Party taking their ball and going home because Republicans wouldn't agree to a deal for citizenship for undocumented immigrants. (I'm not saying this is what the reality of the debate reflected -- only what the perception was.)

In many of these Senate seats held by Democrats -- North Dakota, West Virginia, Indiana, Missouri -- that positioning was untenable. And so they put pressure on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer -- who helped elect many of these same members as chairman of the Democratic Senate campaign arm -- to get the best deal he could, reopen the government and declare victory.

Which is what Schumer tried to do. But the facts of the deal -- a three-week CR with no guarantee of a clean DACA vote -- belie that claim of a Democratic win. As do comments made by Democrats from Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond (Senate Democrats "are getting their butts kicked") and California Sen. Kamala Harris ("Listen, I'm disappointed with a conversation that suggests a false choice: You either fund the government or you take care of these DACA kids. We can do both.")

Could this be short-term pain for long-term gain? Sure. But remember that even if Schumer gets his promise out of McConnell for a DACA vote and even if it passes the Senate, the Republican-controlled House and White House await. And it's hard to see a Senate deal surviving those two gauntlets.

The Point: Schumer was losing support from his most vulnerable members. So, he cut bait. It's a reminder that for all of the talk about the anti-Trump sentiment among Democratic senators looking at running for president, being opposed to Trump at all times is not good politics for everyone in the Democratic caucus -- especially those 10 senators running in Trump country in November.

Read Monday's full edition of The Point.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 15229

Reported Deaths: 723
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds99925
Lauderdale73561
Madison72023
Scott65012
Neshoba63038
Jones59825
Forrest55338
DeSoto5337
Rankin4217
Leake42112
Holmes39728
Copiah3104
Jackson30513
Attala29216
Yazoo2734
Newton2714
Leflore25831
Harrison2577
Lincoln25628
Monroe25525
Lamar2355
Oktibbeha23512
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Pike20211
Adams19615
Noxubee1856
Wayne1771
Warren1719
Washington1687
Covington1652
Bolivar16011
Jasper1574
Smith15011
Lee1496
Kemper14411
Clarke14318
Chickasaw13312
Lafayette1314
Coahoma1214
Carroll11711
Marion1159
Clay1124
Winston1121
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Yalobusha905
Hancock9011
Tate891
Grenada893
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Union835
Marshall833
Montgomery831
Sunflower813
Jefferson Davis772
Tippah7311
Panola703
Webster691
Calhoun644
Humphreys607
Amite601
Walthall550
Tunica543
Prentiss523
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Tishomingo320
Pontotoc323
Stone300
Franklin282
Tallahatchie271
Quitman260
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene121
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
Chambers35325
Walker3442
Elmore3398
Madison3274
Baldwin2839
Dallas2603
Morgan2511
Etowah24811
DeKalb2433
Lowndes23812
Coffee2291
Sumter2206
Autauga2164
Houston2094
Bullock2034
Pike1980
Colbert1782
Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
Talladega1093
Chilton1001
Limestone940
Greene944
Winston880
Covington771
Jackson772
Crenshaw763
Macon754
Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
Blount611
Escambia573
Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar230
Fayette150
Cleburne141
Unassigned00
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