I'll sight from one of Andrew Sullivan's takes on the article:
Reading it is a very useful insight into how he turned the New York Times into a crusading left-populist pamphlet. Take Iraq. Of course Raines opposed the war. The notion that he might have supported it under any circumstance while Republicans were in power is ludicrous. No doubt he takes the New York Review line that we should get out now. But then he's criticizing the Bush administration for a "cut-and-run" strategy:White House strategists are betting that leaving Iraq in 30 days - no matter what chaos ensues in that country - will leave them time to revise history between now and election day and, more importantly, get on with the work of destroying Kerry's image.
Let's look at that quote again: "... leaving Iraq in 30 days ..." The question is: does Raines believe this? If he does, he believes keeping up to 140,000 troops in a foreign country is the same as "leaving" it. Now imagine that the Bush administration decided not to transfer sovereignty and remain in control of Iraq for another year. Do you think Raines would support them? The truth is: Raines would oppose any policy in Iraq as long as it was pursued by the Bush administration. And that was indeed the rule during his editorship: the Bush administration was wrong and evil, whatever it did.
Andrew made another point about another section of the column, quoted below, that I would like to add my two cents to.
As matters now stand, Kerry has assured the DLC, "I am not a redistributionist Democrat."
That's actually a good start. Using that promise as disinformation, he must now figure out a creative way to become a redistributionist Democrat. As a corporation-bashing populist, I'd like to think he could do that by promising to make every person's retirement as secure as Cheney's investment in Halliburton. But that won't sell with the sun-belt suburbanites. Not being a trained economist like, say, Arthur Laffer, I can't figure out the exact legerdemain that Kerry ought to endorse. But greed will make folks vote for Democrats if it's properly packaged, just as it now makes them vote Republican, and in terms of the kind of voters Kerry must win away from Bush, I think the pot-of-gold retirement strategy is a way to work. Forget a chicken in every pot. It's time for a Winnebago in every driveway.
So does Mr. Raines believe that it is appropriate for a Democratic candidate to pander to the populace's greed so that the party can later ram down what said populace really needs down their collective throats? And should it not be the duty of a self-respecting newspaper man to uncover such "disinformation"? Is it any wonder that the New York Times has earned the reputation of the Newspaper of Record for the Democratic Party.
Edited because the second quote seemed to be from Andrew as opposed to the proper attribution going to Mr. Raines.