What’s beyond the pale?

In 1770, Edmund Burke said: “They who can read the political sky will see a hurricane in a cloud no bigger than an hand at the very edge of the horizon, and will run into the first harbor.” A recent minor storm in the east should convince us to start looking for shelter.

Robert W. Patterson was until recently employed by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, having been appointed by Republican Governor Tom Corbett. He is also the editor of the excellent scholarly journal, The Family in America (full disclosure: I am on their editorial board of advisors). The journal publishes serious analyses of family policy and notes about recent scientific research related to family themes. The editorial policy of the journal is broadly supportive of the marriage-based family.

That was too much for some in the political and chattering classes of Pennsylvania. State Senator Daylin Leach was quoted as saying that hiring Mr. Patterson was “an outrage” and that “someone so extreme has no role in government.” Senator Leach’s legislative priorities include legalizing assisted suicide, redefining marriage and mandating contraceptive coverage.

All of this raises the question: Who is extreme? According to increasingly powerful elites, it just might be you.