It is nothing less than astounding that House GOP Whip Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTrump talk riles advocates on both sides of gas tax House GOP pushes hard-line immigration plan as Senate deals fail Speculation swirls about Kevin McCarthy’s future MORE (Calif.) collected enough votes overnight to replace Rep. Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorFeehery: The governing party 'Release the memo' — let's stop pretending that Democrats are the defenders of the FBI Raúl Labrador, a model for Hispanic politicians reaching higher MORE (Va.) as majority leader, following Cantor's shocking loss to his primary opponent Tuesday. Certainly not because McCarthy hadn't earned that foundation of support from the conference already but that the loud and proud voices of angry conservatives once again added up to, well, too few votes. The problem plaguing the most conservative wing of the Republican Party — call it the Tea Party of whatever — has always been the lack of votes. Defunding ObamaCare, ousting Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRestoring fiscal sanity requires bipartisan courage GOP congressman slams primary rival for Ryan donations Speculation swirls about Kevin McCarthy’s future MORE (Ohio), beating McCarthy — it's always the same: not enough votes.

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Uprisings come and go, and Dave Brat's ability to wipe out a majority leader with only 5 percent of the votes from Virginia's 7th District is as stunning and historic as upsets can be, but until this fervent movement wins enough elections, a movement is what it will remain. Despite the GOP establishment's intense — and successful — pushback in primary elections this year, conservatives rejoiced after Brat's win Tuesday, issuing threats to topple the blue and swing-state leaders who have controlled the conference now for years. Leaders from Ohio, Virginia and California — what do they know about the country? But Rep. Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingMick Mulvaney has ignited a firestorm to rein in the CFPB Exiting lawmakers put in calls to K Street GOP rep hits party for passing budget, government funding deal MORE (Texas) took a pass, then after declaring himself a candidate, Rep. Pete SessionsPeter Anderson SessionsProgressive group targets GOP moderates on immigration Capitol Police arrest disability rights protesters for disrupting hearing Crowded primaries loom in Texas House races MORE (Texas) took a pass and a new push by Rep. Raul LabradorRaul Rafael LabradorCalifornia Hispanics, even Republicans, are primed to make history Why Puerto Rico cannot govern itself Despite amnesty, DACA bill favors American wage-earners MORE (Idaho) will surely go the way the other challenges did. McCarthy has the votes already. Why? Because so many Tea Party-backed conservatives support him. There aren't enough of them to land a blow — period.

While Republicans everywhere battle over this poll or that showing that immigration did or did not end Cantor's congressional career, Labrador — a reform proponent who has worked with Democrats to get it passed this session — has declared reform dead. All that matters is that conservatives are blaming "amnesty" for the loss, even if it isn't the culprit. It is a powerful weapon that will be used again and again to scare Republicans away from reform, furthering fueling the Tea Party and the conservative grass roots but keeping the party as a whole from winning the White House again. Why? Without reform there won't be enough votes.

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