By nearly all accounts Democrats blinked first and ended the short-lived government shutdown.
And the White House was sure to point this out and the obvious fact that the stop-gap measure before them was the exactly same one they were against days earlier.
“I think the fact they are voting in favor of this proposal that they rejected a few days ago is sort of evidence that they blinked,” White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah told CNN shortly after the 81-18 vote in the Senate Monday afternoon.
All it took was a verbal promise — something that was on the table back on Friday — to work on an immigration overhaul from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, to get the government’s lights turned back on, after only three days.
While McConnell is on the record saying immigration would be debated on the floor of the Senate, Democrats also made a surprising underreported concession along the way. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, in a Friday meeting with President Trump said Democrats would agree to funding for a wall along the Mexican border.
This was the wrong time for Schumer and the Democrats to play their Dreamer — young immigrants brought to the US illegally as children — card.
It became clear very quickly that that strategy was not going to work for the Democrats especially heading into the 2018 election cycle. To their credit, they realized this too and moved on, hoping to salvage their chances at retaining 10 Senate seats up for election this year in states that backed Trump in 2016. It was senators from that group of 10 — Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia as well as Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and others that led the push to make a deal with McConnell.
It’s doubtful, Democrats will try this again when the next vote to fund the government arises on or before Feb. 8.
What the Democrats did here was akin to a child throwing a tantrum because they did not get what they wanted.