You have to give Liddy Dole credit for being a team player. As she prepares to lose her Senate seat next Tuesday, she’s bravely sacrificing herself to make John McCain look like he’s running a clean and respectful campaign by comparison.

Having cut a desperate ad implying that Kay Hagan, her Democratic opponent in North Carolina, had made some sort of secret deal with atheists (to do… well, God only knows what, you might say) — and having been blasted by Hagan’s outraged response — Dole decided to return to the scene of the crime with another ad essentially restating the initial innuendo (video at right via TPM).

Now, it’s entirely possible that Dole’s campaign knows the intelligence level of the voters it’s targeting better than I do, but I find it hard to believe that even famously stupid low-information undecided voters are going to put any stock in the over-the-top hysteria of these ads. I think Matt Yglesias‘ words of a few days ago are applicable here:

Someone ought to tell these people, though, that there’s some kind of baseline level of plausibility that your attacks need to reach if you want them to be effective. You can say a candidate’s health care plan will cost your family money, you can’t say that a candidate’s health care plan involves chopping up babies and serving them as medicine.

There’s still a couple days left for some frantic, soon-to-be-unemployed Republican to prove Matt wrong, though.