Jim Antle is making sense in his latest at American Spectator:

In this case, Mormons have a long, bipartisan tradition of responsible secular governance: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (whose ascension doesn’t seem to have caused any concern), Democratic Congressmen Mo Udall and Dick Swett, longtime Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, and Romney himself don’t appear to have taken all their cues from Salt Lake City. There is no evidence that any of them “view U.S. politics as a stage on which the ultimate divine drama is likely to play itself out, with a Mormon in the leading role.”

The evidence may not matter to some liberal secularists. They have proven they are not resistant to making faith-based political arguments themselves.

Prof. Bushman takes up the rhetorical cudgel again against Damon Linker:

I am asking you not to focus so narrowly on what you take to be the logical implications of revelation. That is what critics of fanaticism have been doing for centuries. Look at the historical record of the past century as Mormons have entered national politics. Is there evidence of manipulation? Consider the Church’s own renunciation of control over the consciences of Mormon politicians–a stand Catholics have not taken. Are you saying this is a false front? Keeping in mind the injunction in Mormon scripture to submit to lawful government, is there any real basis for concern?

Unfortunately, Prof. Bushman’s appeal may not go anywhere.  The secular critics of suppoedly dangerous religious folk seem to be saying: “We don’t watch what you say or what you do–we watch what we say you must inevitably do.”

Ramesh Ponnuru remarks on what Linker got right:

One thing I think Damon Linker got right is that the potential negative reaction to a candidate’s Mormonism is not limited to evangelical conservatives. Thinking about those voters alone, however, I wonder if Romney would be better off if the Mormon church did not present itself as Christian. The suspicion of heresy seems to be part of what riles people up; it wouldn’t be present if Mormonism were just another religion.

Well, yes and no.  It bothers Christians that Mormons claim to be Christians (with the probable implication that they are more or less just like all other Christians, only better Christians and not apostates) while holding what are clearly stunningly heterodox beliefs, but what bothers some Christians just as much are the beliefs themselves.  For Christian voters, for whom a candidate’s faith is an important element of why they choose to support or oppose him, someone who is an infidel is hardly to be preferred over a heretic, though there will probably be strong opposition to either one.  Were the LDS to say, somewhat improbably, “We’re not at all Christian the way everyone else is Christian and we’re proud of it,” it would not make LDS beliefs any more acceptable to those who already find them troubling.  Earlier today I was commenting on Prof. Nassif’s article that referred to “the Great Tradition.”  By any reasonable definition, that Great Tradition does not even encompass Assyrians and non-Chalcedonians, much less Mormons.  I think you could reasonably expect a number of conservative Christians, and not just evangelicals, to view with skepticism the candidacy of any self-styled Christian who does not belong to “the Great Tradition.”  Someone might object that this approach would also compel many religious conservatives to look askance on the candidacies of other non-Christian candidates, but I assume that is rather the whole point of this controversy.