Is it 3 a.m. at Klan Headquarters?

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Orlando Patterson argues in today’s New York Times that there’s a racial subtext to Clinton’s 3 a.m. ad. I didn’t see it before and I’m not so sure I do now. But I don’t dismiss Patterson—one of my intellectual guide stars—lightly.

More after the jump…

Andrew Sullivan, for one, is persuaded that the ad is subliminally aimed at Latina and white women and that they fear black men in the night. But I didn’t see Willie Horton in that ad, or, not until Patterson connected what he sees as the dots:

“Hillary Clinton appears, wearing a business suit at 3 a.m., answering the phone. The message: our loved ones are in grave danger and only Mrs. Clinton can save them. An Obama presidency would be dangerous—and not just because of his lack of experience. In my reading, the ad, in the insidious language of symbolism, says that Mr. Obama is himself the danger, the outsider within.”

Patterson is not a racial hysteric, far from it, though it’s true to say that (my chum) Andrew loathes the Clintons with a highly literate passion; are they overreacting? Clinton still hasn’t regained my trust after her and Bubba’s race-baiting leading up to and including South Carolina, so I’m a lot more open to this interpretation than I would have otherwise been. More, Patterson argues that, before 3 a.m., people who voted for Obama, after the ad, they voted for Clinton. The causal connection seems a little attenuated, but it’s worth wondering; is Clinton still playing the race card against Obama? Against America?

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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