Catharsis, emotional validation, the litigation of sundry tribal and class disputes, symbolic cultural totems — this, and not a convenient means of undertaking the ordinary business of seeing to the joint interests that the several states cannot easily see to themselves, is what the American people currently look to their federal government to provide. Diabetics are prone to terrible infections in their extremities, but the locus of their disease is elsewhere. The source of the American sickness is not in Washington.

Neither is the cure.

Washington will get back to the ordinary business of budgets and border patrols just as soon as we are ready for it to. Fitch is looking into our creditworthiness. Looking into that other and more consequential thing is our duty and ours alone.