I was more conservative when I landed the job at First Things back in 2001. (At the time I was working as a speechwriter for Rudy Giuliani and thought of myself as a Giuliani Republican.) I supported what I thought was the main goal of the magazine: to oppose restrictions on serious believers participating in politics. As a pluralist, such restrictions seemed arbitrary and unfair to me; there was no reason why pious citizens should be forbidden from having a seat at the table of public debate and discussion. But after a year or so at the journal, I began to see that the magazine didnt so much want these citizens to be granted a seat at the table as it want them to take over the table. At the same time, the policies of President Bush, which the journal supported wholeheartedly, drove me to the left in protest. So the magazine and I were moving in opposite directions. Before long, it was obvious that Id have to resign.
Stated most charitably, it sounds like both sides hadnt quite done due diligence before DL joined FT.
It also seems to me that DLs current "neo-Rawlsian" position is some distance from the pluralism he says he professed back in 2001.