None of this should be taken to imply that the situation is good, or to deny that the US should be doing better — a shortfall largely due to the scorched-earth tactics of US Republicans, who have blocked any and all efforts to accelerate the pace of recovery. (If the American Jobs Act, proposed by the Obama administration last year, had been passed, the unemployment rate would probably be below 7 percent.) The US economy is still far short of where it should be and the job market has a long way to go before it makes up the ground lost in the Great Recession. However, the employment data do suggest an economy that is slowly healing, an economy in which declining consumer debt burdens and a housing revival have finally put us on the road back to full employment. That is the truth that the right cannot handle. The furore over Friday’s report revealed a political movement that is rooting for US failure, so obsessed with taking down Obama that good news for the US’ long-suffering workers drives its members into a blind rage. It also revealed a movement that lives in an intellectual bubble, dealing with uncomfortable reality — whether that reality involves polls or economic data — not just by denying the facts, but by spinning wild conspiracy theories.
It is, quite simply, frightening to think that a movement this deranged wields so much political power.