The Republican Party establishment, desperate to regain relevance after its resounding defeat in November 2008, bottle-fed the Tea Party during its infancy when it should have strangled it in the crib. Now the monster child is grown up and devouring its political parents.
Mr Cantor (and the Republican Party) gave aid and comfort to the Tea Party, the most destructive force in American politics since the McCarthy era. Now that Faustian bargain is paying negative dividends.
The political climbers seeking Cantor’s old position don’t understand that for the Tea Party Republican base, anyone in a leadership position, with a responsibility for governing rationally, is by definition a traitor (e.g., a RINO) and, hence, a target for electoral retribution.