This was a busy week in politics. I followed much of it with a Wi-Fi connection from Antarctica. I was down there as part of a group exploring the extraordinary, otherworldly beauty of the continent and its, and our, vulnerability to climate change.

The news came in as we sailed by the icebergs: Santorum up, Romney down, Gingrich, out? Obama poking the id of both the left and the right on his contraception rule. The “netpopuli” taking matters into its own clicks on Komen and SOPA.

It was good to get away, even if the news followed me. Antarctica is big enough to make it all insignificant.

I did wonder again about the quadrennial gap between our elections and our problems. It is like Antarctica in this way: Our country has been so vast, so beautiful and so strong for so long, it’s still easy to ignore the cracks in our foundation and be entertained by the seals and penguins dancing on the icebergs.