This week at the National Press Club, anti-immigrant groups Team America PAC and American Cause (chaired by regular CNN and MSNBC contributors Bay Buchanan and Pat Buchanan) hosted an event to discuss why the GOP should continue to use an anti-immigrant platform in order to save their party and bring them back to majority status.

Their basic premise is that America (for now) is still a majority white nation and the only way to win back majority status is to focus on and win the “White” vote. Participant Peter Brimelow went as far as to pine about the idea that, had this last presidential election taken place in 1975, and had McCain won the same percentage of the white vote he won against Obama, then McCain would have beaten Jimmy Carter.

As a follow-up to this event, Brimelow, the creator of (Named for Viriginia Dare, the first white child born to English parents in the Americas) will be speaking at a conference in Baltimore titled “Preserving Western Civilization” where he will tackle such issues as “Problems caused by Third-World immigration into Western Countries” and “Racial differences in intelligence, and how to deal with them.”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center he also published Alien Nation, a book that argues that America is historically white-dominated and should stay that way.

The scant turnout at the event is a hopeful sign that this type of intolerant, out-of-touch rhetoric is no longer mainstream and that the real leaders of the GOP have learned a hard lesson-that alienating and demonizing the largest growing segment of the American electorate is not a winning campaign strategy-and are looking for a new way forward.

What’s encouraging as well are recent comments by GOP leaders like Lindsay Graham, John McCain, and John Ensign -all of whom are looking to heal the rift with immigrant and Latino voters so that the GOP can be a viable party that looks forward to 2010, rather than back to 1975.

Photo by Phil Gyford.