Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.prepares to lick an armadillo’s anus to get the taste of defeat out of his mouth. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
The government shutdown ended today and to call this phase anything other than an abject and total humiliation of Chuck Schumer (I exaggerate because you have to have a sense of shame in order to be humiliated) is an understatement. Schumer had tried to make a DACA agreement part of the funding battle, and in this effort, he was assisted by Republicans like Lindsey Graham. In the end, he was placed in the position of choosing between a protracted fight on DACA or the CHIP program. This was a fight he could not win and would never have undertaken if he’d had a modicum of respect for Mitch McConnell. Keep that thought in mind going forward.
When McConnell dictated terms of surrender last night, Schumer was worse off in terms of the deal plus his party had taken such a beating in the polls that even reliable cheerleaders like CNN were saying they needed to call it quits. In return for a continuing resolution that lasts until February 8 and a six-year extension of CHIP (some Democrats in the media are saying this is a win for Democrats because Republicans can’t hold CHIP hostage if there is another shutdown, but this is stupid. The GOP is damned glad to get this issue off the table and to be able to do it looking like the defender of the program), Schumer gets a promise that DACA will be debated. In particular, McConnell said that the debate would be conducted without prejudice in favor of any bill.
Pretty weak outcome for the Democrats — they couldn't get a summit meeting with Trump/GOP leaders or promise to attach DACA fix to a must-pass bill — but they were worried about the lack of a clear endgame and McConnell wasn't budging on concessions.
— Alex Bolton (@alexanderbolton) January 22, 2018
Schumer begins his concession speech by pretending that Senate Democrats didn't filibuster the government spending bill. Then he briefly loses his place reading from his prepared script.
Whatever, I'll let the man save some face in relative peace.
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) January 22, 2018
Democrats have managed to accede to Republican demands, demoralize their energized base, give a disengaged president a win, and look like they held a meaningless three day government shutdown — all at once.
— Matt Viser (@mviser) January 22, 2018
I doubted it was possible, but Dems have actually lost a shutdown fight. Schumer has agreed to end the filibuster in exchange for practically nothing. Make no mistake: Schumer & Dems caved. What a political fiasco.
— Brit Hume (@brithume) January 22, 2018
Durbin now helpfully explaining on the Senate floor that the Dems who voted for shutdown on Friday did so "courageously" on the sole issue of demanding the Dream Act.
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) January 22, 2018
Note that what Schumer got was not an agreement on a particular bill or an agreement that a bill would pass the Senate. He got an agreement to debate DACA. He had that last Friday.
Unlike previous GOP shutdowns that left the GOP caucus fired up and the GOP base ready to go to war (if you think 2013 was a loss, I suggest you look at what happened in 2014), this shutdown has divided the Democrats and half of the Democrat base didn’t want to fight this fight in the first place.