New Democratic strategy: Paint GOP as the shutdown party

The Democratic argument is based on history — the narrative, which Republicans deny, that they intend to impeach Obama and that’s why they sued him over his executive actions on Obamacare. More recently, Democrats contend Republican opposition to imminent unilateral action by the president on immigration could lead to a shutdown of the government.

Of course, the Democratic strategy is less overt — White House press secretary Josh Earnest said on Wednesday it’d be a “shame” if the government shuts down over immigration. But Democrats are giddily presenting the possibility of a replay of last year’s shutdown, which hurt Republicans politically, hoping to nationalize Senate races and present a Democratic Senate as essential to keeping the government running.

The shutdown talk is being stoked after recent comments by prominent Senate Republicans like Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida that predicted a confrontational stance toward Obama on spending bills if either the GOP takes the Senate or the president announces new changes to immigration policy.