The polls show that Republicans are losing the shutdown fight, but narrowly, which counts as a kind of victory all things considered. It’s like Medicare premium support — if you can fight it to a near-draw, you’re doing pretty well. The Democratic posture of no negotiations is inherently unreasonable and has surely contributed to the pox-on-all-your-houses sentiment of the public. Thank you, Harry Reid.
Republicans are making the most of this, but it’s worth noting how far they have fallen from their initial hopes (or at least those of their most optimistic members). Mike Lee and Co. thought at the beginning of this that you could somehow get the president to sign a bill defunding his most cherished initiative. Now Lee is apparently pleased that the president might, perhaps, in the right circumstances, be willing to talk to Republicans.