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New GOP fear: nine months of failure
Evan Vucci / AP

Republican leaders are coming to the bleak conclusion they will end summer and begin the fall with no major policy accomplishments. Privately, they realize it's political malpractice to blow at least the first nine months of all-Republican rule, but also realize there's little they can do to avoid the dismal outcome.

In fact, they see the next four months as MORE troublesome than the first four. They're facing terrible budget choices and headlines, the painful effort to re-work the health care Rubik's Cube in the House (presuming it makes it out of the Senate), a series of special-election scares (or losses) — all with scandal-mania as the backdrop.