If this was on The Onion nobody would doubt for a second it was satire. Sadly, it is not.

[T]hey are particularly relevant this week thanks to a new television ad campaign launched by Atwater’s friend and protege, Karl Rove.

Constructed by Rove’s Crossroads GPS, the spot is airing on cable throughout the nation and focuses on what Atwater would call “totally economy things.” View the ad here – and make sure to closely watch the visual presentation:

As you can see, like Atwater before him, Rove presents the image of an African-American man as an evildoer, referring to him as the tax-raising “he,” and pitting him against the “we” in classic demagogic “us versus them” terms.

Now before you explain that away as non-racial partisanship against a Democratic president rather than coded racial messaging, remember one additional point: In the ad, almost all of the “we” who allegedly oppose tax increases just so happen to be white people. That’s right, save for possibly one or two factory workers blurred in the background of a single shot (I say “possibly” because their ethnicity isn’t clear), all of the “we” who Rove implies are against tax increases — all who are shown while the voiceover says “we need ideas we can all support” — are white. (In all, there are 12 people representing the “we” against Obama — and at most two or three of them are people of color, and that assumes those in question aren’t white, which, again, is unclear. Bottom line: the montage of “we” in the ad is obviously designed to be a montage of White America.)

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