One of the fears that may instill the occasional bout of night terror among American pols is the possibility that “friendly” SuperPACs who don’t agree with the strategy, tactics, or message they ostensibly support will fall into a giant vat of unregulated cash and do something stupid and counter-productive.

We may be about to see how effectively Republicans can keep that from happening, via a new Super-PAC created by the shady oppo researcher Stephen Marks that’s already released a web ad which is a small masterpiece of racism-posing-as-anti-racism.

As ThinkProgress’ Josh Israel reports:, a new Super PAC registered with the Federal Election Commission this week, makes no bones about its aim. It intends to run an attack ad that it says will hit President Barack Obama for “his disturbing, yet crystal-clear pattern of tacitly defending black racism against white folks before and since being elected president.”

Marks is one of those Breitbartian heroes who is proud of being a nasty piece of work, and who specializes in racial appeals. Check out his ad, if you have a strong stomach:

Interesting, eh? Every single human image in this 120-second ad is of African-Americans, with the exception of (a) a white man who is apparently being bullied by a finger-pointing Eric Holder; (b) a white cop who is leading Henry Louis Gates, Jr., to the hoosegow in handcuffs; and (c) white people in a 2008 Obama campaign audience who have (the voiceover suggests) been betrayed and mocked by the black racist president and his black racist administration. You got your Jeremiah Wright. You got your New Black Panther Party thugs. Even Dr. Martin Luther King, who is quoted as championing the anti-racist sentiments Obama and company have betrayed, comes across as loud and threatening.

Now this is just a web ad, but the two questions it raises are whether (a) some rich wingnut might decide it’s exactly what white voters in battleground states need to see and hear, and gets it on the air regardless of what the official GOP says it wants, or (b) it goes viral without any paid broadcasting. In the latter event, Republicans can benefit from whatever racist sentiments it arouses without complicity (unless progressives loudly demand they denounce it); and even in the former event, Mitt Romney, for one, has been known to refuse any blame for nasty ads run by others–even by his own pet Super-PAC.

I sincerely hope this crap gets buried in the slag-heap of ephemeral political communications. But I would not be the farm on it.

Ed Kilgore

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.