The Onion imagines Obama's next attack ad: Did Romney kill JonBenet?

A small but maybe significant sign that awareness of Team Hopenchange’s sleaziness is breaking out from political media to the wider culture. E.g., Obama campaign spokesman Jen Psaki, who yesterday lied brazenly in claiming that the campaign didn’t know Soptic’s story, was forced to acknowledge today that he, er, once appeared on one of their own conference calls to tell it. A minor retreat, but proof that Obama’s brain trust is starting to feel some heat.

Can the inevitable more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger “Daily Show” takedown be far behind?

“I think this is a fair ad, and I think Mitt Romney owes an explanation to the American people as to why he murdered JonBenét Ramsey,” said Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, who called the commercial’s black-and-white reenactment of Mitt Romney carrying a kicking and screaming child to her death “accurate.” “Ultimately, voters need to know who they’re getting with Mitt Romney: a job- and child-killing businessman who is so deceitful he won’t release his tax returns or admit to a senseless murder that shook the nation to its core.”…

Moreover, at the end of the spot a smiling Romney is seen at a campaign event saying, “I killed her, and I had a good time.” Sources from the Romney campaign were quick to announce that the audio and video had been cobbled together from different statements he made during that particular rally.

“Personally, if I killed JonBenét Ramsey, I would have come clean and told the American people that on day one,” Obama’s communication director David Axelrod said on Sunday’s installment of Meet The Press. “But I think that’s a key difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Barack Obama never murdered a child, and Mitt Romney did.”

Pitch-perfect on Ax. All that’s missing is Bill Burton in “these aren’t the droids you’re looking for” mode, insisting that the ad in no way accuses Romney of murdering JonBenet despite what your eyes and ears might have told you.

Speaking of Burton, you’ll be pleased to know that he’s proud of how “wildly successful” his smear has been. Four years ago, he thought “false and mean-spirited attacks” polluted politics. Keep on trucking, Bill. Exit question: Where’s all this headed? The campaign’s bound to get nastier but I’m not sure how. I can’t quite believe they’d go after Mormonism, even obliquely, just because it’d be so glaring a betrayal of Bambi’s cuddly 2008 persona that it really might dent his image permanently. Assume they won’t cross that line, if only for fear of blowback. Which other lines will they cross? Via the Daily Rushbo, here’s Rush Limbaugh imagining the final spring in battleground states.