After the nebulous, ill-planned government crisis that occupied the airwaves over the past few weeks, business has assumed its normal course inside the beltway. Some legislators are hopeful about the future, others remain skeptical, but one thing is for certain; Democrats on the Hill will continue to miss the ball.

The public was so relieved that Republicans decided to release their hostages after painstaking stubbornness that many failed to realize one question had gone unasked. How much will government be spending when it opens? The answer is as simple as it is startling. Today the government is operating at sequester spending levels, despite a chance to change that lugubrious narrative. Of course, this news won’t cause Republicans to blink. The larger question is why Democrats refused to even raise the issue when it stared at them from across the aisle. To add to an already grim track record, the negotiating position was one demarked by immediate concession.

This phenomenon, it is worth noting, is not new for Democrats. The Affordable Care Act, for example, is a concession defined. In any normal negotiating procedure two sides will begin on either side of the divide. With regard to healthcare one side stands for a modern, single payer system, while the other side stands for a free market, every man for himself system. The compromise, if there has to be one at all, would come in the form of a public option. Concerning the Affordable Care Act debate, however, Democrats took the single payer system off the table at once, soon to be followed by the public option. We were left with a corporatist hodgepodge that leaves many uninsured Americans in the same position.

Another instance where Democrats throw in the towel before a fight has been declared is the gun issue. The fact of the matter is that very little separates the two political parties on guns in practice. The true ‘revolutionary’ concept of a gun ban, say, has absolutely no representation in a party that supposedly represents anti-gun interests. The stark reality is that Democrats love guns just as much as Republicans. Democrats merely polish their weapons less than Republicans. The Democrats’ concessions, then, come in the form of a congenial consensus wherein guns are not to be questioned under any circumstances. While Democrats may speak out against the AR-15, they will retreat to another gun every single time.

When Democrats behave in the same manner toward the budget, then, it should not be any surprise. As soon as Democrats conceded government spending to levels dangerously close to the Paul Ryan budget, Republicans had already won. It has been clear for quite some time that the left in this country has been without a proper representation in Congress, but it would behoove Democrats to at least disguise it a little better.