i finally figured out what's up with the nytimes opinion section: courageously, counter-intuitively, they always go for max boredom. their goal, every time out, is to be literally dead center of the mainstream. they have noblest ambition of all, to make no difference whatever. what guides their editorials and their selection of op-ed columnists and contributors: an extreme desire for total safety, a profound commitment to not making any mistakes, a bold flight from bold opinions. really as they meet to decide on an endorsement, for example, you can see them asking one question above all: who is the safest choice for us? their range from egan or whatever on the left to brooks or douthat on the right is about a millimeter wide.
truly, were i operating an opinion page with the prestige of the times's, i would regard that as a license to continuous free-wheeling boldness. they view it as an unprecedented opportunity to be extremely extremely careful.