?The last thing TEA Party activists need is for a DC-based lobbyist to lecture them on being extremists. Still, that’s precisely what Vin Weber did:
The other Minnesotan deeply tied to the the Congressional Leadership Fund is former U.S. Rep. Vin Weber, who sits on the super PAC’s board. Both Weber and Coleman are backing Mitt Romney for president and both also work as lobbyists.
At a time when the tea party has energized the conservative base of the party, Weber cautions that Republicans need to avoid ideological extremes.
“It’s important to also maintain some breadth to the Republican message because there are places in the country where a very conservative Republican simply can’t compete and a truly national party has to be able to be at least somewhat competitive everywhere,” Weber said.
It’s apparent that Vin’s spent too much time in DC. It’s apparent that he didn’t notice that the TEA Party’s conservatism was so mainstream that it triggered the biggest congressional landslide in over half a century.
It’s foolish to say that the TEA Party’s appeal is to extremists. It’s impossible to characterize the policies advocated as extremist considering the fact that those policies triggered a landslide that produced the landslide that netted a net gain of 63 congressional seats all across the nation.
What’s more is that this wasn’t just about Congress. The GOP won 4 net governorships, flipped 14 majorities in state legislative chambers and gained a net of 680 state legislative seats:
Devastation: GOP Picks Up 680 State Legislative Seats
By Jeremy P. Jacobs
November 4, 2010 | 11:30 AM
While the Republican gains in the House and Senate are grabbing the most headlines, the most significant results on Tuesday came in state legislatures where Republicans wiped the floor with Democrats.
Republicans picked up 680 seats in state legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the most in the modern era. To put that number in perspective: In the 1994 GOP wave, Republicans picked up 472 seats. The previous record was in the post-Watergate election of 1974, when Democrats picked up 628 seats.
The GOP gained majorities in at least 14 state house chambers. They now have unified control, meaning both chambers, of 26 state legislatures.
That control is a particularly bad sign for Democrats as they go into the redistricting process. If the GOP is effective in gerrymandering districts in many of these states, it could eventually lead to the GOP actually expanding its majority in 2012.
Republicans now hold the redistricting “trifecta”, both chambers of the state legislature and the governorship, in 15 states. They also control the Nebraska governorship and the unicameral legislature, taking the number up to 16. And in North Carolina, probably the state most gerrymandered to benefit Democrats, Republicans hold both chambers of the state legislature and the Democratic governor does not have veto power over redistricting proposals.
Could a group of extremists win that widespread a victory on that many levels? I didn’t think so.