Here is a dose of reality for Republicans. As Geraldo Rivera pointed out last night on FNC’s Hannity the 2006 Great American Boycott drew more people in Chicago, than the entire Tea Party movement did across the country. 400,000 people attended the 2006 Chicago rally compared to roughly 200,000 for tea parties around the country.
Here is Geraldo Rivera making the point on last night’s Hannity show courtesy of Media Matters:
Rivera put the number for the 2006 Chicago rally at between 300,000-500,000, which is right on because other news estimates placed the number at 400,000. Consider that this was just in Chicago Around the country, 2,500 people turned out in Atlanta, 20,000 in Indianapolis, 10,000 in Las Vegas, 3,000-5,000 in Madison, WI, 70,000 in Milwaukee, 200,000 in New York City, and 1-2 million in Los Angeles. It is no coincidence that Democrats took back Congress in 2006, and Barack Obama won the White House in 2008 with help from the Republican Party’s anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Hispanic voters have left the Republican Party in droves. Instead of learning from their mistake, and coming up with a sensible immigration policy that would lure Hispanics back to the GOP, they instead appealed to their base by holding staged protests. The Great American Boycott didn’t have a cable news network promoting. It had people who cared about an issue. For those critics who claim that the marchers were all illegal immigrants, once again look at the returns from the past two elections, and notice how Hispanic voters have fled away from the GOP.
The tea parties were another sign that the Republican Party is still on the wrong track. They have to move more to the middle, not further to the right, if they want to win national elections. When the tea parties are compared to a popular protest, it becomes clear what a failure they were. The tea parties mobilized likeminded people. They didn’t reveal any base of popular support that would pressure lawmakers. You know that you have failed when Geraldo Rivera becomes the voice of reason on an issue.