Mr Douthat is smarter than this:
As a result, today the Episcopal Church looks roughly how Roman Catholicism would look if Pope Benedict XVI suddenly adopted every reform ever urged on the Vatican by liberal pundits and theologians.
Too many conservatives are too smug about decline. The truth is that conservatives have been deeply compromised by immorality from papal hangers-on to tv preachers. The real thing missing from Christianity is not ties to tradition or thoughtless reform, but a refusal to demand much of believers. Traditionalists are coddled by an indult. Suburban progressives have their religious needs serviced by degreed professionals. Christianity prospers when it roots itself in tradition, but tears full speed ahead into the challenges of the day. Many liberals and conservatives miss this. It’s not about them.