• Panic Mode.

    The voters in their infinite wisdom have just given a huge boost to perhaps the only GOP candidate who could shift the spotlight from President Obama to himself, alienate virtually all independent voters, lose more than 40 states and put the House majority in jeopardy.

    We’d be looking at four more years of Obama’s economic policies, four more years of strained relations with allies, several new Supreme Court justices and an unprecedented power shift to the executive branch.

    It seems, gentlemen, it’s time to get off your . . . er . . . time to get off the bench and into the game. It is time to make the case for winning conservatism — a conservatism attractive to centrist voters that can be translated into a reform agenda. If conservatism becomes a movement of anti-media bashing and hyperbolic rhetoric, it will cease to be a force in American politics. And if it is led by an egomaniac whose personal advancement takes precedence over any principle, the GOP will be (correctly) mocked.

    Uh-oh. Looks like someone's a bit worried about Newt Gingrich knocking the entire GOP presidential campaign off its axis. Not to worry -- Jennifer Rubin has plenty of company in that regard.

    The GOP establishment is hoping and praying that Newt doesn't get another win in Florida, as it would completely flip the well-rehearsed script they're operating on: the one that involves Mitt Romney getting the nod. The last thing the GOP establishment wants is a candidate with copious amounts of personal and ethical baggage, a propensity for "going rogue" and the ability to go from hero to utter embarrassment in no time flat.

    Romney and Santorum are sharpening their claws as I type. Others on the campaign trail and within the GOP are training their sights on Gingrich. It looks like Florida is shaping up to be a rather ugly battle to undo Gingrich before he manages another win. He's on the offensive and his attacks on Romney's time with Bain Capital Management could be the boost he needs in the Sunshine State.

    I bet the GOP establishment is regretting the day it came up with the Tea Party concept right about now. That's what happens when you train an entire constituency to hunger for nothing but bloody red meat. Right about now, Mitt and Mr. C.U.M. are feeling a bit silly holding those tofu slices while Newton Leroy's throwing fresh meat to the crowds left and right.