Meanwhile, the Republican Party behaves as if it would rather see the country fail than Barack Obama succeed. Rush Limbaugh, the de facto G.O.P. boss, said so explicitly, prompting John McCain to declare about President Obama to Politico: “I don’t want him to fail in his mission of restoring our economy.”
OK, that sounds nice, Rush has become the Democrats designated whipping boy, an intentional plan as it turns out, but that is not what he said. Here is the original quote which started this whole thing off.
If I wanted Obama to succeed, I'd be happy the Republicans have laid down. And I would be encouraging Republicans to lay down and support him. Look, what he's talking about is the absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care. I do not want the government in charge of all of these things. I don't want this to work. So I'm thinking of replying to the guy, "Okay, I'll send you a response, but I don't need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails."
He never says that he wants the country to fail, just Obama. And he is even more specific than that, he is talking about specific economic policies that Rush opposes, not the presidency in general. Whether you agree with him or not, that is well within the normal political discourse and Thomas Friedman owes him an apology.