Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein summed up the mood in her party best after Monday’s shutdown defeat when admitting that their handling of the issue may not have been “the wisest course of action. And you know, you live, you learn from these things. And we will. We will have another opportunity, trust me.”
Most political onlookers have concluded that the shutdown played out as a win for President Trump and the Republican party whilst the Democrats were left showing a bitter split in their own ranks, between the moderate side willing to offer wall funding in return for a DACA deal opposed to the ‘lefties’, like Feinstein, who want a “clean” DACA bill.
The ‘lefties’ now also include the Democrats’ “2020 caucus” who have seen very well what potential there is on the side of Bernie Sander’s 2017 presidential run, and knowing that most of those unable to vote in the last election will certainly do so to oppose President Trump in 2020. They are: Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand and Jeff Merkley.
Even Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, considered by most to be a close ally of Dreamer advocates, admitted the split in the Democrat party: “We had hoped to achieve more. We did achieve something significant. We have a deadline, we have a process, and I think that deadline is right near us. It isn’t like they’re asking for six months or a year. It’s 16 days.”
And then there is the consensus building part of the Democratic party, who above all, don’t want to lose next time around. For them, a reconciliation can’t come a minute too soon.
Even liberal groups are now warning their grass-roots members to turn up the pressure on Democrats, knowing that for some avoiding another defeat will be more important than winning a good DACA deal.
Mr Angel Padilla, policy director at the liberal group Indivisible, explained it best: "Generally, those same people who've been marching in the streets get angry and lose faith in leadership when they don't stand up for progressive values."
"Just because you have a Democratic senator doesn't mean they don't need some work."