Democrats panicked on social media Saturday after mainstream media outlets like The New York Times and the Associated Press blamed them for an ongoing government shutdown, rather than Republicans and President Donald Trump.
The White House did its best to label the shutdown, which began after Democrats whipped votes to filibuster a continuing resolution funding the government, offered by Republicans, as the "Schumer Shutdown," after Democratic minority leader Chuck Schumer.
To Democrats' chagrin, the name stuck, and as they petitioned to keep the government out of working order over their commitment to illegal immigration, mainstream media outlets, who might typically be on their side, turned on Democratic leadership.
In their rundown of the Friday night vote, The New York Times dared to suggest Democrats were to blame for failing to keep the government open. "Senate Democrats blocked passage of a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open," the paper's app blared in its mobile notifications.
That single text message sent Democrats and activists into a panic. Dan Pfeiffer, a former Obama official and co-host of the podcast, "Pod Save America," that encouraged activists to pressure legislators for the shutdown, was visibly agitated on Twitter after seeing the message.
Others spent much of the day Saturday attempting to "refute" the NYT's assessment by suggesting that by not acquiescing to Democratic demands which, for a time included an amnesty program for DACA recipients' parents, it was the Republicans who were at fault for the shutdown.
love to see the times righteously admonishing our dem-controlled government pic.twitter.com/NjJJKzfy7K— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) January 20, 2018
This is not Chuck Schumer’s shutdown. This is not Mitch McConnell’s shutdown. This is Donald Trump and Stephen Miller’s shutdown. This is the result of a confused, chaotic White House.— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) January 20, 2018
Trump and the Republicans would rather keep the federal government closed than protect 800,000 young immigrants from deportation AND increase funding for border security.— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) January 20, 2018
Can’t take yes for an answer.
Dems obviously pushed for the DACA resolution, which is part of why we are here. But McConnell is taking surprisingly little heat for going back on his promise of an immigration vote in January. Is it just acknowledged that he misled Flake and others? https://t.co/9v97UMkpR9— Sam Stein (@samstein) January 20, 2018
The reason the government is shut down is that the Trump Administration doesn’t know it’s ass from its elbow and Ryan and McConnell lack the courage and competence to lead https://t.co/Bd0kFjm19x— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) January 20, 2018
But the public relations campaign failed before it even began. Left-leaning blog, Slate, agreed with The New York Times that ultimately a 51-person Republican majority could not have overridden a Senate filibuster requiring 60 votes to terminate. Bloomberg news ran with the headline, "U.S. Shutdown Starts as Senate Democrats Block GOP Funding Plan,” and the Associated Press declared, “Senate Democrats derail bill to avert shutdown.”
By Saturday night, both parties were beginning to agree, tentatively, on some terms to end the shutdown, including a possible longer-term spending bill that would fund the CHIP children's health care program for the next six years. That bill, however, avoids the immigration issue altogether, hinging passage on a mere commitment to handle the DACA issue sometime before February 8.