The moral common sense once taken for granted by both parties has become an occasion for insuperable “controversy,” as Democrats complain about the “dysfunction” of government while refusing to fulfill one of its most basic responsibilities. They often slur Republicans for not “believing in government,” even as they abdicate its core function, providing for the security of the people who consent to that government. Pelosi’s casual call for suspending the tradition of the State of the Union address fits with her casual rejection of the traditional understanding of government and makes her party look like its only goal is burning down Trump’s Washington.

Pelosi’s open-borders absolutism, insofar as it strikes at the very roots of government’s legitimacy, poses a far greater threat to government employees than delayed payments. Unpaid and furloughed federal works mystified by Pelosi’s refusal to negotiate realize that they won’t have jobs at all if the nation’s borders dissolve. Pelosi occupies not the moral high ground but Washington’s decades-long swamp in which pols neglected the security and stability of their countrymen for the sake of future votes and cheap labor from foreigners. It took Trump to confront this crisis once and for all so that government can even continue. A much more profound “government shutdown” preceded this temporary one, which was the bipartisan refusal to close the border, a policy Trump correctly sees as poisonous to the nation’s very survival.