[T]he rise of Gingrich—and the real chance that he might win the nomination—highlights a major dilemma for the Republican Party establishment. For two decades, the GOP has attacked expertise and authority, and offered an emotional, reactive approach to politics—“You should go with your gut, and anyone who says otherwise is an elitist.” If Gingrich wins the nomination, against the wishes of seemingly everyone within the GOP nomination, it might be a sign that this approach worked too well. Republican leaders created a monster, and they’ve lost the power to control it.
(Photo: A supporter of Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich wears a campaign button at a town hall meeting on December 3, 2011 in the Staten Island borough of New York City. By Michael Nagle/Getty Images)