There was only one last-ditch demand Republicans in Congress rallied around in the end-of-year budget negotiations that concluded today -- a black line in the tar sands drawn by the conservative legislative machine. In order to approve a payroll tax-cut extension -- a measure that the GOP's tax-hating ranks already support in theory and that's widely understood to be an effective stimulus to our sagging economy -- Republicans held out on a single, make-or-break issue. Democrats could have a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut -- but only if they let Republicans pursue a gambit to get the Keystone …
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Scott Rosenberg is Grist's executive editor.
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