It is nothing less than astounding that House GOP Whip Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcCarthy hits GOP senators on ObamaCare: Some ‘don’t deserve to stay in office’ House members warned recess could be delayed over healthcare House to vote on Russia sanctions deal next week MORE (Calif.) collected enough votes overnight to replace Rep. Eric CantorEric CantorTop Lobbyists 2017: Hired Guns GOP Rep. Jeb Hensarling to retire after end of current term A tyranny of the minority is raising your health care costs 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 BoehnerThe two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery One year later, neither party can get past last year's election White House strikes back at Bushes over legacy 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 HensarlingMounting GOP retirements threaten House majority The Hill's 12:30 Report House Judiciary chairman announces retirement MORE (Texas) took a pass, then after declaring himself a candidate, Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas) took a pass and a new push by Rep. Raul LabradorRaul Rafael LabradorRaúl Labrador to run for Idaho governor A real Hamiltonian response for Puerto Rico Lawmaker: GOP should take page from Trump on budget 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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