THE BLOG
03/12/2012 03:31 pm ET Updated May 12, 2012

Jobs -- The GOP Needs a New Alibi

The jobs report released on Friday was pretty good news for America -- and pretty bad news for the GOP.

As we know, much of the hope of the Republicans for making President Obama a one-term leader has been based around the idea of a continuing crisis economy, mired in negative growth and increasing, or at least continuing high double-digit unemployment.

The last three months of jobs reports have dashed many of those hopes.

Private sector job growth has continued to increase as public sector jobs have contracted -- the exact prescription that Republicans have hoped for but been unable to acknowledge, since it has come under a Democratic administration. Close to four million private sector jobs have been created since President Obama took office, a recovery that most economists see as stunning considering the extent of the recession, (more like depression) that the Obama administration was saddled with at inauguration.

For much of the GOP primary period, Republicans have created counter-arguments to most of this good news: The president "promised" that his stimulus plan would keep unemployment under 8 percent, while it now only barely exceeds it, at 8.3 percent. Relatively small job creators, like the Keystone XL pipeline, have been blown up into "systemic" indicators of "anti-job" bias by the Obama administration, even though we know that they would be only minimally accretive.

But the most well-aired argument to point out the real failures of the increasing jobs data has been about the participation rate, the active number of employment seekers, and it goes like this: "Well, maybe the unemployment rate has been dropping, but that's only because people are so discouraged in this economy that they have stopped even looking for work".

Well, guess what? With the report on Friday, the GOP is going to need a new alibi. The participation rate actually increased to 63.9 percent, so not only are more private sector jobs being created, but more people who previously had lost hope about finding work are reentering the job force successfully.

All good news, right? It is, yet you know that somehow the Republicans will find a way to spin this news in a negative light. What will be the tool? It won't be "participation rate", but I'm sure it'll be something. We're waiting.