The plan was this: A big rally near Rep. Eric Cantor's district pushing the House Majority Leader to oppose a citizenship path for undocumented immigrants to the United States. Four groups partnered on the Monday evening event, the first part of the "Stop Amnesty Tour." They lined up Rep. Steve King, historian and expert on the musculature of the drug trade.
The only thing that was missing? Attendees. The primary group driving the event, the anti-immigration NumbersUSA, did a great job getting press attention beforehand, including a link and location details from Breitbart.com. (One commenter: "Any rhino that votes for amnesty, which the illegal Immigration bill is, will lose . Cantor better realize this. No dream act!"). The organizers even managed to get a nice write-up after the fact from Businessweek, highlighting "star attraction" King.
"Let's restore the rule of law, let's restore the dignity of the America citizen, and let's restore the destiny of the American nation," King said, his voice booming from a Richmond, Virginia, hillside park that overlooks House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's district.
Politico's Seung Min Kim was there, and took this photo of King's booming valedictory speech.
Kim comprised about two percent of the audience, according to Businessweek. Or, according to Breitbart's Matthew Boyle (who wrote the article linked above) — over three percent.
Among the groups hosting the event were the Tea Party Patriots, according to Boyle. Immigration was supposed to be a focal point of Tea Party activism during the August recess. On Twitter, Boyle noted that other events had been better attended. But so far, August has seen the tide shift against immigration opponents, with several previously ambivalent Republicans pledging to support a reform bill.
Events like Monday's aren't likely to counter that trend.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.