Josh Micah Marshall:
Inside the Newt Smackdown: About a month ago… I wrote that… the GOP establishment would [not] let Newt Gingrich take the nomination. Just too stupid an idea, too suicidal for the party…. [A]t the time a lot of TPM Readers wrote in to say, what Republican establishment? Who is this Republican establishment and how’d they make out against Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell in 2010? Just what levers does this ‘establishment’ have access to?…
I think we can… [now] say, ‘That’s what it looks like’ as we survey the rounded down lump on the highway pavement formerly known as Newt Gingrich….
First, big sums of money unleashed to hammer Gingrich and very little money available to make his case. Second, virtually every Republican of any name recognition, accomplishment or pulse coming out and pushing hard for Mitt Romney and against Newt Gingrich…. [M]ost… didn’t just endorse Romney…. A bunch amounted to ‘I’m endorsing Mitt Romney because it would be absolutely F’ing crazy to nominate Gingrich. Don’t nominate Gingrich.’
Equally powerful were a series of high-profile anti-endorsements of Newt coming out of the Movement Conservative mediasphere…. National Review… anti-endorsed Newt… devote[d] an entire issue to making the case against Newt…. Newt got the endorsement of four or five mid-tier former House Reps…. Art Laffer endorsed him and Guiliani said a few nice things about him. And that was it… no surrogates to appear on TV to mount a defense….
What sets Newt apart is that he didn’t do anything of note to trigger [his downfall]…. he was on remarkably good behavior. There was just a wall — from almost everyone professional concerned with the Republican party — of no. And it worked.