It is nothing less than astounding that House GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) collected enough votes overnight to replace Rep. Eric CantorEric CantorJohn Feehery: GOP: Listen to Reince The Trail 2016: Dems struggle for unity Overnight Regulation: Supreme Court rejects GOP redistricting challenge 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 BoehnerIn House GOP, Ryan endorsement of Trump seen as inevitable House GOP faces dilemma on spending bills Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns MORE (Ohio), beating McCarthy — it's always the same: not enough votes.
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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