To: Members of Media Conspiracy
From: Governing Committee
Re: McConnell "Compromise."

Sen. Mitch McConnell has proposed a face-saving compromise to resolve the standoff over extending the payroll tax cut. We want Boehner to accept this compromise so bipartisanship may reign and we can all enjoy our Christmas dinner in peace. Also, it would be kind of nice not to hit working people with a payroll-tax increase when the economy's still struggling to recover. 

The compromise isn't really a compromise. McConnell is telling Boehner it's game over and he lost. But you must not report it that way, lest Boehner reject the deal. You must say that McConnell has the Democrats meeting Republicans halfway. At least until the House votes to approve the Senate bill. Then you may report the truth: That the House GOP challenged the Democrats and suffered a miserable, grinding, humiliating defeat. Which, let's face it, is news.

Repeat: Pretend this is a compromise and not a defeat for Boehner and the House GOP until they vote to adopt the Senate payroll-tax bill.

You may now resume work. Happy holidays to all, and see you at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Update, 3:45 p.m.: Talking Points Memo, you are way, way over the line with that headline, "House GOP Cornered In Payroll Tax Standoff." We want to wrap it up today. This truth-telling fetish of yours is not going to help. And Politico, you know the best way to stop a stampede of House Republican freshmen toward surrender? Point out that the stampede is underway. So ix-nay on the ailout-bay.