Only three days after it began, Democrats agreed to end the government shutdown Monday, signing onto a bill that was effectively identical to the one they rejected Friday, sparking the chaotic weekend. While some celebrated the re-opening of the federal government, many in the media appeared angry at Democrats for “caving” so quickly. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough complained that Democrats gave in too easily and that the party hasn’t learned “to fight a good political battle”: Listen, there are a lot of Democrats that aren’t happy, there are a lot of reasons for Democrat activists to be concerned. It doesn’t seem that the Democrats have still learned how to fight a good political battle. A good political war, legislatively or with their communications. But, you know, this ended up just being a phony war. This was, to borrow a phrase from the beginning of World War II, this was a phony war, it was a three-day battle. It’s not like they signed off for six-year deal on keeping the government open.
Scarborough also faulted Democrats for not having a communications strategy to support the shutdown: “I mean, it’s one thing to shut down the government, but if you’re going to shut down the government, you got to know what you’re doing, you’ve got to know what your communication strategy is and you’ve got to know what your next move is.” Scarborough’s colleague and co-host, Willie Geist, said Democrats should refrain from “back patting” after agreeing to a deal with no tangible progressive victories: “I’m not sure how much back-patting there should be going on,” Geist said. “I’m glad the government is open for people who need the government to be open. But let’s not get too excited about it. I think this deal was predicated on trust which is why progressives are so upset about it.”
On CNN, New Day host Alisyn Camerota suggested to Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal that the whole episode “backfired” for Democrats, and asked whether he agreed with others that the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, “caved.” — “I know you don’t want to play the blame game, I get it,” Camerota said. “But the only reason I ask this question is we’re going to be back here three weeks from now unless something changes and we’ve learned a lesson. So is it fair to say the shutdown — the government shutdown for Democrats backfired?” CNN’s Brooke Baldwin likewise chastised a Democrat guest, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, for the seemingly pointless charade. Baldwin repeatedly asked Wassmeran Schultz to identify one take-away victory Democrats achieved. When the most Wasserman Schultz could point to was “the potential for momentum” on legalizing Deferred Action Against Childhood Arrivals (or DACA), Baldwin mocked, “Was that really worth to shut down the government?”
CNBC contributor and former CBS spokesman Jeff Ballabon said the shutdown blew up in Democrats’ faces: The showdown was “a huge, colossal mistake by the Democrats. They tried all weekend to blame the Republicans. They couldn’t do it. It ended up backfiring on them.” Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah summarized the deal Democrats signed onto — an agreement to “keep the government open for three more weeks” — and called it “pathetic.” — “Democrats and Republicans reached a deal this afternoon to end the shutdown, and the deal was Republicans would promise to hold the vote on immigration, and in exchange Democrats would agree to keep the government open for three more weeks,” Noah said. “Yeah, three more weeks. Which to me sounds pathetic. But I guess that’s why I’ll never make it in Congress.”