As much as I agree with and fear what others see going on in the Last Self-Help Administration, I can't help thinking of the convolutions and contortions of Europe in the late 19th and early-to-mid 20th centuries.
Let me add here that Obama has made it clear that the culture wars are "over". What does that mean? Besides sounding peremptory and high-handed, it means to me that what America took for the longest time as points beyond which neither the Right nor the Left would stray, those "points" are now moot. "Whatever it takes" takes its place alongside "hope and change" - as long as its his viewpoint and expedient to him. What a worthy criterion ..
Whether with ostentatious bumptiousness or a coldly rationalistic mien, every worldly power and principality agrees with Stalin's rhetorical question, How many divisions does the Pope have? The latter, while now occupying the White House, no less than any other.
But look if you will at what those contortions that racked Poland and Germany produced in terms of leadership for Mother Church. Let us never succumb to despair.
As mighty, indomitable, and monolithic as "prince(s) of the power of the air" (Eph 2,2) seem, empires, governments, even whole nations slip and slide away. But the Church - ever old, ever new - continues to march Her way through history.