Over at NRO, Michael Walsh forecasts one of the coming lines of attack on Mitt Romney
: His Mormon faith.
Pieces like Walsh's are helpful. They (1) alert the campaign about danger areas; (2) point out possible weaknesses in an opponent's argument; and (3) can, in some cases, help inoculate a candidate against bad-faith attacks simply by previewing the ugliest pages in the opposition playbook -- and then pointing it out when the predictions start to come true.
In any case, there's no question that Romney's religion will come front and center if the left -- and its mouthpieces like The New York Times -- have anything to do with it. Their goal quite possibly is to attempt to turn off enough evangelical Christians (whom they perceive as low-intellect, buck-toothed bigots anyway) to hold down turnout in the Republican base.
There is, however, an effective line of defense -- one that the Obama administration has itself opened up. Any attacks from the Obama campaign (or its proxies) on Romney's religion warrant a tough, quick response tying the assault on Mormonism into the administration's overall war on faith.
The actions of the President and his supporters have already created an ugly, ugly suggestion that he and his allies lack respect for religious principle and diversity. Should he initiate -- or tolerate -- attacks on Romney's Mormon faith, no one should hesitate to connect the dots for the American voter.