I thought reading John Rocker’s WND op-ed would be the most disturbing chore I undertook today. But no, I then stumbled on this:

YouTube video

If for some reason you can’t access this video, it’s an ad from famous African-American right-wingers Ken Blackwell and Herman Cain attacking Eric Holder for failing to protect the right to vote by refusing to pursue the hallucinatory New Black Panther Party voter intimidation “threat” and by persecuting poor Rick Scott, who’s just trying to protect the “integrity” of the ballot box. This rolls out after images from the civil rights movement and a pious statement from the duo about the hard-fought right to vote.

This ad is the most striking example yet of the peculiar psychological need of conservatives to convince themselves that when they are messing with minority folks they are actually warriors in the fight for civil rights, while the self-same minority folks are self-hating bigots and/or helpless pawns in the grip of white elites. I mean, really: they could just admit they want to discourage African-Americans from voting because they tend to vote for the wrong party, or that they’d oppose “welfare” whether or not a case could be made that it is victimizing its beneficiaries. All this bizarre self-righteousness and parading of minority spokespeople in communications clearly aimed at a virtually all-white audience is getting downright pathological.

UPDATE: I’m glad commenter Tramey asked about the “color purple” bit, because I meant to mention that: as the video indicates, it’s a reference to that conservative golden oldie: the “purple finger” sported by Iraqis as proof they had voted in the American-sponsored 2005 elections. As you may recall, lots of Republican members of Congress showed up with purple fingers at the 2005 State of the Union Address as a symbol of the brilliant success of the Iraq War. It was reportedly Bobby Jindal’s idea, clever lad that he was. But it’s odd to see it being used now.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.