I used to enjoy Douthat's old blog at the Atlantic, which I thought was a much better medium for him than the Times column. The thing about Douthat is that he's only any good when he's reacting to someone; it was a common feature, I think, of all his best posts on the old blog that they began with a longish quote from someone -- esp. his recurring sparring partners, Will Saletan, Damon Linker, and Will Wilkinson, all of whom are dumber and worse writers than Douthat. (Even if I agree with them more often.) His columns, by contrast, have been kind of flat and formulaic, and sometimes (the one about the "audacity of the pope") extremely silly. (His book reviews, on the other hand, are often good because he's reacting to the author.)
Anyway, he seems to be back to blogging, now at the NYT, and his blog is -- at least as of now -- a lot better than his columns.