The case for the Democratic "cave"

Republicans were happy to claim throughout this three-day government funding lapse that Democrats had made a strategic error in blocking a government funding bill, so it’s odd that, in GOP eyes, Democrats had also made an error in ending the shutdown. How is it that a shutdown was bad for moderate Democratic senators up for reelection and that ending a shutdown is also bad for those lawmakers?

It’s also inaccurate to say Democrats didn’t get anything over the last couple of days. McConnell made stronger statements in support of an open debate on a DACA bill on both Sunday night and Monday morning, making it more difficult for him to wriggle out of not putting forward an immigration bill that has Democratic support or controlling the amendment process so that Democrats don’t have a chance to change the bill.

If ― as progressives were happy to tweet Monday ― Democrats shouldn’t trust McConnell, forcing him to make more explicit promises on the Senate floor, promises that will surely be thrown back in his face should he fail to live up to them and there is another shutdown, that isn’t to be taken for granted. And if the Senate were able to pass a bipartisan DACA bill, while also demonstrating that a more conservative DACA bill currently making its way through the House doesn’t have the votes in the Senate, they make it much easier to argue that it’s Republicans like Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) who are shutting down the government by not giving Democrats a vote in the House.