You could say that President Trump did a great service to the nation Tuesday with his televised address from the Oval Office.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks with reporters on Capitol Hill on Wednesday after returning from a meeting with President Trump at the White House. He and other Republican senators are hanging with the president on his border wall.

The lies, distortions and fear mongering that he managed to jam into just nine minutes of airtime should put to rest any notion that he will be a constructive partner in any negotiations to end a government shutdown.

The president is not looking to make a deal. He may not even be looking to build a wall. His only interest appears to be appealing to right-wing commentators on talk radio and Fox News, and the only thing they can’t forgive is compromise. He’s locked in, with no room to move.

With the question of the president’s role out of the way, our attention can turn to whether to reopen the government at all. If the answer is “Yes, it would be nice to pay the people in charge of things like airport security and cancer research,” there’s some good news. A deal is already on the table, with no negotiation necessary.

The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would fund most of the departments affected by the shutdown through the end of the fiscal year. They also passed a short-term funding measure that would keep paying employees in the Department of Homeland Security, giving the president and congressional negotiators time to reach an agreement on immigration policy and border security.

Now it’s up to the Senate to accept the offer, something that should be easy, since the spending bill was patterned after bills that the Senate already passed unanimously last month – before Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter told Trump they made him look weak. Sending the bills to Trump with veto-proof majorities would end the standoff.

But so far, most Senate Republicans are still hanging with the president. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he won’t even bring a bill up for a vote if Trump hasn’t promised to sign it, which is not how the separation of powers is supposed to work. And South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham gave dire warnings about what would happen if Trump’s wall isn’t built.

“That’s the end of us, if we give in on this issue, as Republicans,” Graham said, even though he just voted for the same bill last month without announcing his party’s doom.

A couple of Republicans have peeled off, notably Maine Sen. Susan Collins, but not enough to make a difference. As long as the leadership is indulging the president’s fantasies, the government will stay closed.

A number of news organizations have published fact-checks of Trump’s speech, but two years into his presidency, we should know better. The president didn’t fact-check his way into his positions, so he can’t be corrected by reality.

Anyone who has given the matter any serious attention knows that we are not being invaded over an unprotected border. Immigrants, even undocumented immigrants, are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.

And a border wall, whether it’s made of concrete or steel, will not materially impact illegal entries, the flow of drugs or the infiltration of terrorists.

Mexico won’t pay for the wall, and the wall won’t pay for itself. Building a wall is not a policy proposal – it’s just something to scream when you want attention.

But Trump rode this nonsense into the White House, and Republicans took the opportunity his election provided to pass a massive tax cut and fill vacancies in the federal judiciary. Before the government can reopen, Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that most of what the president says about immigration is baloney, and face the political fallout.

Trump made clear Tuesday that there was room for only one Lone Ranger, and he would not give members of his party a graceful way out of the mess he created. Until Senate Republicans decide they’ve had enough, the government will remain shut down.