I don’t think Ross Douthat quite does justice to the argument for the negative. Douthat doesn’t think that Brownback can get the nomination. If that’s the case, as I believe it is, and if his support is going to come almost entirely from the social Right, which is also almost certainly correct, then it follows that the more successful he is, the less influence the social Right will have on the actual nominee, whoever he is. It is true that none of the candidates is the ideal choice for a social conservative (or any other kind of conservative, I should think). But social conservatives will be better off if McCain, Romney, and Giuliani are trying to court them than writing off large numbers of them as lost to Brownback.