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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.

Discussing the risks of reopening his state last month on Fox News, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R) declared, “There are more important things than living.” The comment was revealing. President Trump’s manic, malicious, and mismanaged presidency constantly captures our attention, and he’s often treated as some kind of grotesque outlier. But while Trump emits his own unique forms of venom, he is a reflection of, not a contrast to, today’s Republican Party. On the central challenges facing the country, the Republican Party, like Trump, is unending in its cruelty.

With 34 million people filing for unemployment since mid-March, state budgets are cratering as expenses caused by the pandemic soar and every form of revenue collapses.

When Trump initially indicated his willingness to provide aid to states and localities, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) reined him in, dismissing the crisis as a “blue state” mismanagement problem. Trump immediately flipped and started echoing the majority leader.

Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.