It’s pretty straightforward, IMO (although I appreciate that the message wasn’t communicated as clearly as we would have liked). As of 1st January, no new bug reports, fixes, or changes will be made to Python 2. Any changes that might have been made since 2.7.17 shipped haven’t yet been released, but as a final service to the community, python-dev will bundle those fixes (and only those fixes) and release a 2.7.18. We plan on doing that in April, because that’s convenient for the release managers, not because it implies anything about when support ends.
Your proposal that we don’t ship a 2.7.18 would mean that people who expected that a post-2.7.17 fix made while 2.7 was still supported would end up in a released version would be let down, and in effect would mean that 2.7 support had ceased at the release of 2.7.17.
As Brett pointed out, python-dev is entirely made up of volunteers, and we’re trying to do our best for the community. We can’t please everyone, and we shouldn’t have to apologise if we don’t manage to.
You could start by pointing out that they have only ever had support on a volunteer basis, and they should not feel entitled to anything. If they want guarantees, or a roadmap, or any other form of commitment to a particular level of support, I’m sure there are companies out there who will provide that for a fee - even for Python 2.7, and even now that the python-dev team are no longer offering unpaid support.
I understand your frustration - companies have difficulty reconciling their need for stable systems and guaranteed support against the compelling cost argument that open source software offers (no need to pay!) But that’s a discussion you need to have with your company (as you are doing) - not something that you can expect to influence what python-dev chooses to do (except in the broad sense that we’re trying to do our best for people in general).
So far, you are the only person who’s flagged this as an issue, or spoken up here. I’m sure others exist who are in the same position, but one person willing to speak up out of all of them doesn’t suggest it’s a major problem (compared to, say, not releasing a final 2.7 version with the fixes from after 2.7.17). Even if there were a significant number of people supporting you, is it really worth the additional confusion that would result from such a change?