January 24, 2010
What to Do With An Obama Bumper Sticker?
Buyers' remorse carries many unwelcome consequences. Chief among the tangible regrets from having supported candidate Obama, to now disavowing actually voting for him as president, is what do with that Obama bumper sticker?
Here in New England most of the Obama bumper stickers adorn trunks and tailgates of Volvos and Saabs. Of course a few Subarus sport Obama bumper stickers alongside "Impeach George Bush", "No Blood For Oil" and "Save the Planet, Eat Your Children". While enduring the public scorn from the newly reformed citizens of "Brown 41 Nation", one time Obama acolyte Volvo and Saab owners are stuck with a double problem How to also rid themselves of a car whose brand is flirting with bankruptcy or just fading away?
"Out damned spot! out I say". Scraping off an Obama bumper sticker is no easy feat. A variety of solvents, bleaches, degreasers and rubbing compounds , accompanied by a Scotch Brite pad or even steel wool for the most stubborn applications, are necessary to rid the stain of a misbegotten deed. Yet once the Obama bumper sticker is scraped off, there's more trouble underneath. Those Obama bumper stickers were slapped right on top all of the previously hopeless would-be champions. Start peeling and you'll find the remains of John Kerry, Al Gore and Mike Dukakis. And vintage Volvos still have faded reminders from George McGovern.
Bumper stickers are the most persistent form of free speech. Pamphlets, speeches, newspaper columns and website blogs are either forgotten or filed in the archives. Embarrassing or regretted speech in these forums, even YouTube clips, out of sight for the most part, at least must be retrieved to be remembered. Bumper stickers are on display every day. And your face is identified with the message for everyone on the highway to see in a form of effortless instant profiling. Dark glasses and disguises aren't enough as long as license plate numbers can be traced.
Those who are successful in erasing their Obama bumper stickers, now hastily seeking anonymity and forgiveness, must still reconcile to their private enduring complicity for having elected a president both incompetent and incapable.
Historians, perhaps even the unrepentant Obama sycophants such as Doris Kearns Goodwin and Michael Beschloss, will now earnestly explore how the electorate allowed identity politics to trump executive experience and literacy in economics and history while electing Obama as president. Who would have imagined such agonizing self-reflection would begin so soon, even when the incumbent still has three quarters of his term remaining?
More than likely, roughly half of Scott Brown voters also voted for Obama. Their bumper sticker fix is simple. Just paste "Brown 41" over "Obama". The rest will have blisters and broken finger nails feverishly hoping their neighbors have short memories.
Still others since inauguration day have been defiantly displaying "Obama Nation Equals Abomination" bumper stickers on their Chevy, Ford and Dodge pick up trucks. They can gleefully wax and buff without breaking a sweat. They had Obama figured out from the very beginning.