Will congressional Republicans act fast enough?

We all know Republicans are in a heap of trouble. The question though is do they? Members of the House of Representatives seem to be getting the point. From the top down there have been conservative, back-to-basics proposals coming out of the House. John Boehner began to move after the Gingrich-memo to adopt some of the recommendations therein. Then the conservative House Republican Study Committee led by Jeb Hensarling put forward their reform agenda that includes many solid policy prescriptions that Republicans should have been pushing all along.

This activity has occurred amidst talk of a leadership shakeup in the wake of the November elections. The point is, in the House, there is activity that at least indicates an acknowledgment that the GOP ship must be righted.

But what about the sleepy Senate?

Where is the conservative agenda from the Senate leadership team? To date there is nothing. It is almost as if Senate leaders have not yet made the connection between the public’s disgust with Congress and the ensuing likelihood of a GOP trouncing in November.

Of course the Senate is traditionally more isolated than the House. Only a third of its members must face the voters this year. But the GOP has more seats to defend and could potentially face a setback at the polls that would take years to overcome. Some predictions have the GOP losing as many as eight seats!

That there is irrelevant minority status folks. That means no filibusters to stop liberal judges or sweeping expansion of government. It would also mean a blank check for a liberal Barack Obama Administration. In short, total disaster. The only silver lining would be that the GOP might finally pull its collective head out of its rear and finally get back to being Republicans.

At least there are some in the Senate making this pitch right now. Today Tom Coburn decries “compassionate conservatism” Republicanism as well as K-Street Project Republicanism. He argues that the GOP is simply in a state of denial about their prospects this fall and that the surest way to stop the bleeding is for Republicans to act like Republicans.

Jim DeMint has been sounding the alarm as well. DeMint’s plea, like Coburn’s, is for Republicans to get back to first principles.

But the pleas of Senate conservatives have yet to manifest themselves in action on the part of the GOP caucus in the Senate. I have trouble believing that Republicans can just hunker down and hope to avoid major losses this fall. Absent major actions that demonstrate a desire on the part of the GOP to reform itself, everyone with an “R” by their name in November will be in big trouble.

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