EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

This week, Americans will get a very clear view of the two political parties in high-stakes showdowns—and possibly a sobering insight into how corrupted our politics has become.

Republicans are now committed to fierce obstruction. All the high-minded rhetoric about bipartisan cooperation is background static. The clearest proof will play out this week as Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) leads a filibuster against a bill to lift the debt ceiling so that the United States does not default on the debts it already owes. Default would probably have catastrophic effects on bond markets, credit and the United States’s standing around the world. McConnell risks this because he wants Democrats to take the blame.

McConnell’s obstruction comes as no surprise, but what’s telling is that there are 10 Republican senators not responsible enough to break the filibuster. Virtually without exception, they echo the lie that Democratic spending is the reason the debt ceiling must be lifted. In fact, the raise would cover much of the past debts accumulated when Republicans held power under President Donald Trump. Sustaining the full faith and credit of the United States by empowering the government to pay its debts does not require a profile in courage. Republicans—in unison—are more committed to partisan posturing than to simple patriotic service.

Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.