The Czech novelist Milan Kundera has lamented that life is like a sketch without a painting, lived only once and never subject to revision or perfection. It goes to show that when it comes to creativity and optimism, the Czech novelist has nothing on the American politician.
To the latter, life is more like an Etch A Sketch, subject to virtually infinite revision without regret. An aide to Mitt Romney, Eric Fehrnstrom, gave us this unfortunately brilliant metaphor last week — brilliant because it describes much of the trouble with American politics, and unfortunate (for Fehrnstrom and his boss) because it describes even more of the trouble with Mitt Romney.
Asked whether conservative positions taken in the contest for the Republican presidential nomination could hurt Romney when the race shifts to a general-election battle for the mushy middle, Fehrnstrom didn’t think so. “It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch,” he told CNN. “You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again.”