Liberal blogger Greg Sargent has posted a short email exchange he conducted with Rush Limbaugh yesterday, and it's rather fascinating:

Rush, if I could ask a follow-up question, if Obama’s policies are designed to help the economy, and those policies fail — as you’ve said you want — doesn’t the economy, and by extention [sic] the country, suffer as a result?

Rush replied:

Obama’s policies are NOT designed to help the economy, and they won’t. That is why I want them to fail. Take a look around, Greg. We have been stimulating and spending for a year now and wealth is vanishing from Wall Street, people are losing jobs and savings. His policies stimulate only government and attack wealth, producers and achievers. Obama’s policies are not new, they are not hope, they are not change. They are page 1 of the standard liberal playbook. Tax and spend. And they have not generated econ recovery or private sector growth in all of history.

I asked:

I understand that you don’t think Obama’s policies are destined to succeed. Reasonable people can disagree about that. However, putting aside the question of what the policies are destined to do, is it true that if they succeed in their stated goal of righting the economy — however far-fetched that may be to you and others — then would that be good for the country?

Or, alternatively put, putting aside the question of what the policies are in your view destined to do, is it true that if they fail in their stated goal of righting the economy, won’t the country suffer further as a result?

Rush answered:

I reject your premise, especially since you are rejecting my answers. I will not put aside the question of what the policies are destined to do because that IS THE POINT.

A couple of thoughts. First, Limbaugh deserves real credit for responding to Sargent, whom he could very easily have ignored. Second, Limbaugh seems entirely genuine in his beliefs--in contrast to many Republicans peddling a similar line--even if those beliefs are frankly nuts. (Relax, I can say that. It's already pretracted.) Barack Obama would prefer growing the government and raising taxes--neither of which is particularly popular--to fixing the economy and all but guaranteeing his re-election? The stimulus bill is "designed" and "destined" to fail to such a degree that it's not worth even entertaining a hypothetical about whether it would be a good thing if it succeeded? I guess if I believed such arrant nonsense I'd be angry too. 

--Christopher Orr