Thomas Sowell has an interesting column today pushing back against the demonization of Newt.  It’s not an endorsement, but it sure sounds like Sowell is not liking all the hate being directed Newt’s way (h/t jeannebodine in the Tip Line):

Did Gingrich ruffle some feathers when he was Speaker of the House? Yes, enough for it to cost him that position. But he also showed that he could produce results.

In a world where we can make our choices only among the alternatives actually available, the question is whether Newt Gingrich is better than Barack Obama — and better than Mitt Romney.

Romney is a smooth talker, but what did he actually accomplish as governor of Massachusetts, compared to what Gingrich accomplished as Speaker of the House? When you don’t accomplish much, you don’t ruffle many feathers. But is that what we want?

Can you name one important positive thing that Romney accomplished as governor of Massachusetts? Can anyone? Does a candidate who represents the bland leading the bland increase the chances of victory in November 2012? A lot of candidates like that have lost, from Thomas E. Dewey to John McCain.

Those who want to concentrate on the baggage in Newt Gingrich’s past, rather than on the nation’s future, should remember what Winston Churchill said: “If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost.” If that means a second term for Barack Obama, then it means lost big time.

Contrast Sowell’s sober assessment with this chart from The New York Times showing that a pro-Romney SuperPAC is pouring far more money into negative ads against Newt in Iowa than all the other candidates combined.

Getting people to hate Newt is the easy part, giving us a reason to vote for Romney is the hard part.

I’ve said it since the beginning of this campaign, Romney needs to make the case for him, not just against others.  If he cannot do that, and he hasn’t so far, he may win the nomination but he will not defeat Obama.

Update: via National Journal:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his allies are making an all-out push to win the Iowa caucuses — or at least to knock down their toughest opponent — according to advertising data…

The $971,187 in combined Romney advertising is nearly as much as the rest of the Republican field is spending in Iowa…. And the tone isn’t going to reflect the Christmas spirit.