A picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case, it’s simply pathetic. When Iowa GOP congressman Steve King planned an anti-immigration rally in Richmond, Virginia, he thought he’d be giving a speech to a very large audience. Instead, King found himself talking to mostly, well…himself.
It turns out Americans are not as supportive of King’s staunch anti-immigration stance as he thought they were. According to ThinkProgress, only between 30-60 people in all of Virginia bothered to show up to listen to King at his so-called “Stop Amnesty” rally.
Click HERE to see the pictures to prove it (via ThinkProgress).
Clearly, people aren’t exactly on board with the anti-immigration position of the extreme right. That makes perfect sense, considering that polls taken across 29 states reveal that an average of 68 percent support the bill that was passed in the Senate earlier this summer. In Florida alone, a whopping 72 percent support the legislation and even 67 percent of Texans do as well. As we all know, Florida is a major swing state at election time, so if Republicans derail the legislation and keep it from passing, there will likely be hell to pay.
House Republicans are currently the only barrier to the bill which would provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants while also strengthening the border. Moderate Republicans are more supportive of the legislation, but those associated with the Tea Party are making it incredibly difficult, because if the legislation does pass, those moderate Republicans are almost certain to face career ending primary challenges from far right opponents.
One of those Tea Party congressmen is Steve King himself, who has taken it upon himself to crisscross the nation and appear on all the news channels to deride the bill and trash-talk immigrants in an effort to have the legislation scrapped. Needless to say, the slightly more sane Republicans are between a rock and hard place because of him. They fear being seen as compromising with Democrats and sending a bill to President Obama to sign. But they also fear alienating the majority of the nation and losing the coveted Latino voting block that has crippled the GOP in the previous two presidential elections. It’s definitely a tough position to be in.
Either way, Republicans will lose. If they pass the bill, the party will move even further to the extreme right because of the primary challenges that will result in a purge of what’s left of so-called moderates. Such a move to the right would almost certainly spell doom for a party that already loses among women, African-Americans, Latinos, and independent voters. A swing further right will only alienate those groups more. And if Republicans don’t pass the legislation, they’ll anger everybody except their extreme base of voters who may primary them anyway just for kicks. Because that’s the way the GOP works now. They eat their own.
The fact that very few people showed up to King’s event proves that Americans are tired of the anti-immigration rhetoric coming from conservatives. It’s certainly a rebuke of King. It’s simply hilarious that he was basically left talking to thin air for the duration of his rally. Perhaps Americans are finally fed up with the racist vitriol of Republicans and have decided that it’s time to give them the silent treatment as a show of their disgust. Hopefully, Republicans get the message… but I doubt they will.