‘Stupidest damn thing I’ve ever seen’: Democrats miscalculate the shutdown

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Senate Democrats reluctantly voted to reopen the government on Monday after badly misjudging the political fault lines of a partial shutdown instigated to secure immigration concessions.

Minority Leader Charles Schumer of New York led his troops into a battle Friday. Democrats were encouraged by President Trump’s low approval ratings and penchant for off-message tweeting, the Republicans’ zero batting average in past shutdown fights, and a liberal base demanding action for “Dreamers.”

But five Senate Democrats up for re-election in red states immediately defected, a split in the party’s ranks not seen in years. They voted with Republicans — against leveraging their support for a must-pass spending bill for legislation preventing the deportation of at least 800,000 illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children through no fault of their own.

With public polling showing middling support, at best, for the minority’s strategy, Republicans’ confidence in their position went sky high: No vote on legislation to fix the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program until Democrats provided the votes to end the government shutdown.

These key developments, plus Trump keeping an unusually low profile, ran counter the Democrats’ expectations for how the shutdown would unfold. It provided Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., with latitude to maneuver and contributed to his outflanking Schumer in a test of political will.

“It’s the stupidest damn thing I’ve ever seen,” a Democratic operative in Washington with ties to Senate leadership said on condition of anonymity. “This is what happens when the caucus gets ginned up and ready to go into battle without thinking through the repercussions.” – READ MORE

Two Democratic lawmakers, who both have a history of making unreliable claims, were shut down on live TV on Sunday after they attempted to level false allegations against the GOP and portray their party as victims in the government shutdown mess.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), who lied about his service record in Vietnam, appeared on CNN with host Wolf Blitzer where he falsely asserted that the Republicans were in control of the Senate.

Shortly after making the remark, Blitzer corrected him, “Well, let me interrupt politely. They’re not completely in control of the U.S. Senate as you know, they only have 51 votes, the Democrats are in the minority, but you need 60 votes in order to break a filibuster, so they’re not in control of the Senate when it comes to this issue.” – READ MORE

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