But an amazing thing is about to happen at the close of one of the most politically contentious years in recent history: Republican leadership is about to say yes to Democrats. Yes to unemployment benefits, yes to Obama’s payroll tax holiday and yes on passing an unwieldy pile of year-end spending bills…

GOP leadership thinks its party wins by extending the payroll tax break, which Obama wanted as part of the 2010 deal to add another year to Bush tax cuts. Plus, Republicans are afraid of getting hammered if they let a tax break for middle-class Americans lapse. And they simply haven’t had the time — or political will — to overhaul the unemployment benefit apparatus. Plus, Republicans will exact more spending cuts as part of the deal.

It’s yet another illustration of the evolution of the House Republican majority. They’re conceding at year’s end that governing is messy and deals must be cut.

“I’ve seen a movement of the party,” said Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican, “an increasing acceptance” of the payroll tax cut, he said.