Six days ago, the Democrats surrendered to Republicans during the government shutdown, and as a Democrat, I’m still angry. And I should be angry. The Democrats blew it. They had leverage, favorable public opinion, and massive support from their base, who just two days earlier, had marched in the streets by the millions. Even with all this going for them, Dems still decided to forfeit their advantageous position in under 70 hours, leaving the fate of the nearly 800,000 dreamers in the hands of Trump and the Republicans.

Scared of a little bad press

So why did Democrats cave? The press during last weekend’s shutdown was mostly negative towards Chuck Schumer and the Democrats, with many outlets and pundits blaming them for the shutdown, despite the fact Republicans control all facets of the federal government. This lousy press terrified Democrats, who decided it would be better to try and please conservatives, who will never vote for them rather than stand up and fight for their base.

Dems claim that they didn’t fold and even seemed enthusiastic about their deal because Mitch McConnell promised to bring a vote on DACA to the Senate floor. This acceptance of Mitch McConnell’s word was another dagger in the back of progressives.

Why would anyone expect Mitch McConnell to keep his promise? The Nigerian princes from my inbox have a better track record of reliability than Mitch McConnell.

The same old Democrats

What is most disappointing about the handling of the shutdown, is that it was finally becoming exciting to be a Democrat. In 2017, Dems were unified against Trump and did everything in their power to block his terrible nominees and agenda.

They even won key elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and Alabama, of all places. Party leaders were at long last beginning to embrace actual progressive positions on issues, rather than defaulting to the saltine pragmatism of years past. Of course, this new shift toward leadership was just a phase. It soon became apparent that the Dems, frightened by progress, couldn’t handle the pressure and reverted to their old ways of attempting to please everyone while succeeding at infuriating everybody.

Look, Democrats, we aren’t asking for the moon, all we want is for you to grow a backbone and start acknowledging the concerns of your base. And if the fight for DACA must be moved to February 8, then so be it, but this time, you better fight like hell, or you risk destroying the overflowing levels of voter enthusiasm currently in America that you’ll never get back. We are ready to be excited about the Democrats, so please stop trying to change our minds.