House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's shocking loss in his primary last week left many observers wondering if the fallout would spark a GOP leadership shuffle. Cantor's opponent, econ professor Dave Brat, with a shoe-string budget and zero support from national tea party "organizations," ran a classic grassroots campaign and bested the powerful incumbent by more than ten points. With an increased turnout from two years ago, the result had all the markings of a real voter revolt.
Within hours of Cantor's defeat, though, the House GOP caucus rallied around his deputy, House Whip Kevin McCarthy, to replace him as number two in leadership. Rather than reflect on whether Cantor's loss signaled a larger issue, Republicans circled the wagons to preserve the status quo.
This is a bit like Lincoln replacing McClellan with the general's less-accomplished twin brother.