Krugman's blog assertion that there's "Nothing to see here" in the jobs report is essentially an abridged version of his column's restatement of Bill Clinton's "zinger" Wednesday night: "We [Republicans] left him a total mess. He hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough. So fire him and put us back in."
"[A] bit below expectations" is the jobs report's subdued, sober economic consensus, while the sober political consensus is anything but subdued; indeed, it's positively striking that any new jobs were at all created, given the congressional GOP's punishing program of forced economic austerity.
What we're witnessing today is merely the best of all possible--which is to say, allowed--syntheses: Obama's stimulus and accompanying economic policies sparked a far more aggressive recovery, which has since slowed, because of Republicans' applied brakes, into a plodding predictability.
Yet it's the opportunity costs of Republicans' power-at-any-price ideology that, from a purely conceptual plane, hurt most. Where would the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed now be had the GOP chosen patriotic cooperation over partisan sabotage? About 7 percent, and roughly 2 million fewer. That's where. What's more, the first statistic would be even lower, and the second even higher, had Republicans not hissed and spit and fumed and fulminated over the original stimulus proposals.
But here we are ... Republicans dancing in the streets over the considerable triumph of sociopolitical sadism, while executive competence struggles to cope with an utterly dysfunctional constitutional system, courtesy the sadists.