You would click on the link, and there you'd find the Tea Party Patriots' mailer, calling for liberty and asking for money, decrying "big-government Republicans" and "leftist Obama Democrats" alike.
But the real target of this particular pitch was none other than Karl Rove himself, the "architect" of George W. Bush's two White House wins, accused in the ad of trying to "crush the Tea Party movement."
And he was depicted as a Nazi.
Photoshopped into the uniformed visage of vicious SS commandant Heinrich Himmler, no less -- the architect of the Holocaust.
It's hard to imagine a more offensive piece of political e-mail.
Not surprisingly, within hours, the e-mail was retracted and apologies offered all around. It was a terrible case of mistaken identity, an inexplicable bit of human error, the Tea Party Patriots said through a high-priced PR agent when called by Politico's Ken Vogel, who broke the story. The Virginia-based political fundraising firm, Active Engagement, promptly fell on its sword, which is the decent thing to do when you've been paid $1.5 million and screw up this definitively.
The tea party's impulse to attack Rove personally -- so deeply felt that putting an SS uniform on him seemed like a good idea to somebody in the chain of command -- is a sign of just how bitter this GOP civil war is becoming.
Rove's alleged sin is the formation of a group dedicated to nominating electable congressional candidates for the GOP. It seems that some folks in "the establishment" don't like losing Senate races every year because the partisan primary system keeps kicking up extreme candidates who are beloved by the hyperpartisan base but can't win in a general election.
Cases in point: Senate candidates Sharron Angle, Ken Buck and Christine ("I am not a witch") O'Donnell in 2010; the no-abortion-even-in-cases-of-rape duo Richard Mourdock and Todd Aiken in 2012. If those five tea party favorites hadn't imploded in spectacular fashion, Republicans could be in control of the Senate right now.
So Rove & Co. are backing more centrist Republican candidates who they think have a chance.