A CAR ONLY A CONSERVATIVE COULDN’T LOVE…. A couple of months ago, George Will blasted the Chevy Volt, dismissing it as a car “conceived to appease the automotive engineers in Congress, which knows that people will have to be bribed, with other people’s money, to buy this $41,000 car.” Rush Limbaugh wasn’t impressed, either.

In November, baseless complaints from the right notwithstanding, the Volt was named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. This week, the Volt picked up another accolade.

The fuel-efficient Chevrolet Volt won the 2011 North American Car of the Year and the Ford Explorer won the Truck of the Year prize, it was announced at the Detroit auto show Monday morning.

The car award highlights what some enthusiasts hope will be the industry’s turn to alternate fuels, which so far has proved to be promise than reality.

Now, we know why the right expected a different result. The underlying concern is that conservatives disapproved of Obama’s rescue of the automotive industry, and hoped to see it fail. Limbaugh was explicit on this point, insisting that conservative Americans “do not want [the president’s] policy to work here.”

But it did work. The right will just have to get over its disappointment.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.