Conservatives Begin to Panic Over Newt

Despite the fact that Newt Gingrich has been in Washington since 1979 and makes his living as the head of an only-in-DC network of "think" tanks, media production companies, and influence-peddling operations that together form what I like to call GloboNewtCorp, he is now running as the enemy of the elite Washington establishment. Sure, it's because it's always fashionable to present yourself as an outsider, and Newt has no identity unless he's somebody's enemy. But there's also an element of truth beneath all that posturing. The Republican establishment really does want him to lose. It isn't because they fear his transformative vision of transformative transformation, as Newt would have people believe. It's because they know that if he's their nominee, you can pretty much write off any chance they'd have of unseating Barack Obama. So now they're starting to get seriously worried.

Look around the conservative media today, and you can see the signs. The Drudge Report, which is still hugely important in setting the conservative media's agenda, has basically become the Newt Sucks Report. I counted links to 11 different anti-Newt stories in the top half of Drudge's page Thursday, including the screaming headline about how Newt—cover your ears, children—insulted Ronald Reagan. There are more anti-Newt pieces in places like the National Review and the American Spectator (the Politico has a round-up of all this). But will it work? If Newt falls, it'll be because he brings himself down, because his own craziness and incompetence render him unable to overcome Mitt Romney's money and methodical organization. The Florida primary isn't going to turn on a piece in the National Review. So DC Republicans can squawk all they want about what a disaster a Gingrich nomination would be, but like the rest of us, they're mostly going to have to sit back and wait for Newt to destroy himself, probably in the most dramatic way possible. But if I were them I'd be reasonably confident that he will sooner or later. After all, this is Newt Gingrich we're talking about.

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