House Republicans pass the payroll tax cut, as Democrats desired...
... unfortunately, the Democrats wanted to pay for it with a tax increase rather than spending cuts (as best as I can figure: see if you can sort out what this means).
What certainly is the case is that campaign tools like this (below) will be less credible; now it is up to Harry Reid once again to explain why he will not pass what he wanted the Republicans to pass.
An even better article (it at least makes some sense) from the LA Times.
I think there is probably an interesting book here, written about 10 years from now when enough people have retired (but not died yet) to get the real story. Package the stories about this bill, the debt ceiling, funding the government --- it has been an intense year for brinkmanship. Why does this seem to be the tactic of choice in both parties in this environment? Is this really as unprecedented as news stories have made it seem? Did it "work" - to achieve the objectives of certain legislators, to put forward good policy, to serve the interest of the American voters? What will the costs ultimately be? The benefits?
Anyway, if you write the book --- throw in a good word for us.