Before the new Congress was seated, many commentators were predicting strife within the Democratic ranks as the party's progressive and centrist wings battled over policy and priorities.
Then came the federal government shutdown.
In the wake of President Donald Trump's shutdown over funding for the border wall he promised voters Mexico would pay for, Democrats are more unified than most expected, writes Roll Call's Adam Green.
"By shutting down the government, Donald Trump unintentionally gave Democrats the biggest gift possible: Unity," Green writes. "It could doom his presidency. Stunningly, it is a repeat of the exact mistake he made by choosing Obamacare repeal as his first legislative fight."
As Green writes, Trump's failure is the same mistake he made when Republicans tried to repeal Obamacare instead of pursuing a popular policy like an infrastructure plan.
This was a "giant unforced error," Green writes.
"Trump’s push of Obamacare repeal achieved the remarkable task of unifying all Democrats from Joe Manchin and Elizabeth Warren in the Senate to corporate-aligned New Democrat leader Jim Himes and Progressive Caucus leader Pramila Jayapal in the House," he writes. "Trump set a precedent by emboldening Democrats to unify against him in future fights."
"Democrats were ripe for division," Green argues, as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi faced a "fracturing caucus."
"Democrats who wanted to stab Pelosi in the back are now watching her outmaneuver Trump and get national praise for it — creating no incentive other than to root her on," he writes. "After fighting alongside each other, it is now way more probable that swing-district House freshman will trust their progressive colleagues and give critical mass to bills they may have been on the fence about supporting otherwise."