There is a lot of ruin in a nation, Adam Smith is supposed to have observed a couple of centuries ago. It is because nations are generally larger than the people who come to think they can turn them as adroitly as a trucker highballing for home. Nope. The traditions and ways of a great people are not so readily transcended.
The Obama administration commenced oversight of the United States with the idea of making all things new. The tilt toward overthrowing traditional, normatively based understandings of marriage (one man, one woman) was crucial in Obama's salesmanship campaign. But it ran up against the popular conviction -- broader than polls can readily show -- that other modes don't, shall we say, get the job done. The man Obama named as attorney general seems to agree people should be able to define a relationship however they want to. But that's not the view of civilization. It's the view of a coterie of activists who -- even when they president is on their side -- can't shake the civilized conviction that they know not whereof they speak.
What with Libya and the deficit and oil prices battering us day after day, it's easy to grow discouraged about the course of the nation. Resist that useless temptation. The best news of the last two years seems to be that politicians misjudge half the time. It makes you wonder why anyone bothers.