GOP Botched Payroll Tax Fight The 'Wall Street Journal' can't understand how this happened By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Dec 21, 2011 10:51 AM CST 56 comments Comments Flanked by House GOP members, John Boehner and Eric Cantor listen during a media availability December 20, 2011 on Capitol Hill. (Getty Images) (Newser) – The Wall Street Journal is furious with the GOP over the way it has handled what it terms the “payroll tax fiasco” in a scathing editorial today. “How did the Republicans manage to lose the tax issue to Obama?” the editors marvel. “GOP leaders have somehow managed the remarkable feat of being blamed for opposing a one-year extension of a tax holiday they are surely going to pass,” while allowing Obama to position himself, somehow, as a tax cutter as he gears up for re-election. “This is no easy double play." House Republicans have shot down the Senate’s two-month extension because they say it makes no economic sense. “But then, neither does a one-year extension,” the Journal opines, since employers know the cut is temporary either way. “The entire exercise is political, but Republicans have thoroughly botched the politics.” Their options were to help pass it quickly, and share the credit, or come up with sound arguments for defeating it and doing so. They did neither, and should now “cut their losses” and extend the holiday quickly.