The entry of Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho into the race for House Majority Leader may trigger a political storm among Republicans, but it still is healthy for the GOP, according to Noah Rothman, associate editor for Hotair.com.
It's very good for the party as a whole that [Labrador is] willing to suffer the slings and arrows, as it were, of his fellow colleagues,'' Rothman told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
Labrador is challenging House Whip and establishment favorite Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, for the position being vacated by Eric Cantor.
Cantor is resigning following a shocking primary loss to tea party favorite Dave Brat in Virginia's seventh district.
At first, tea party activists were roiled at McCarthy's quick ascension to succeed Cantor, believing the establishment was ignoring them. But they have been somewhat placated by Labrador's decision to run.
"The general consensus inside the Beltway is … those votes are sewn up [to McCarthy],'' said Rothman, whose news site was founded by conservative author Michelle Malkin.
"So there isn't anything more at this point than a symbolic bid. But that has a tendency to rile up people in the grassroots.''
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But even if McCarthy wins, as is expected, the fact that Labrador has thrown his hat in the ring does send a message to establishment Republicans.
"The alacrity with which everybody got behind Kevin McCarthy … [is] so out of touch with what the moment demands, with what the primary loss that Cantor suffered really conveys,'' Rothman said.
"The fact that they're just not internalizing that message is pretty disturbing and this Labrador push is actually going to help reinforce the notion that you cannot do business as usual, necessarily, in the House anymore and that they definitely need an infusion of new blood.
"That kind of willingness to accept the status quo is not acceptable to the Republican grassroots anymore.''
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