A committed minority thwarts the will of the majority of the party. And after proving themselves a credible threat by their willingness to hand victory to the other side, that small share manages to take control of the whole operation.
That’s been the story of the Republican Party for the past eight years. We see it very much in the broken House Republican Conference, which is now following the path that the party as a whole has been taking since first acquiescing to Donald Trump’s hostile takeover bid in 2016.
Radicals don’t usually beat pragmatists, but when insurgents can take advantage of a majority’s instinct for self-preservation, the fulcrum on which power tips can quickly move to the extremes.