Second, there is always an assumption that the GOP—the party that occupies the anti- (or small) government brand is to blame for shutdowns. Third, as Michael Tomasky points out, Trump lacks the kind of message discipline needed to drive a message such as selling the “Schumer Shutdown.” And lastly, Democrats probably believe that fighting for DREAMers is smart long-term politics—even if the short-term blame does partially fall on them.
On the other hand, Republicans believe they can win this fight. First, of course, it’s hard to get past the actual fact that a Democratic filibuster was the impetus for the shutdown. Second, in the continuing resolution Republicans offered to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years. Democrats have (for now, at least) rejected that—which is to say they might get blamed for not funding this important program. Republicans can also point out that, although fixing DACA is important, thanks to a court injunction, it is not an imminent issue. As liberal columnist Bill Scher writes in Politico Magazine, “even for the group hit hardest by Trump’s order, the immediate urgency has dissipated.”