Something’s going on. Still ubiquitous only a month ago, Obama stickers are disappearing from the Volvos and Priuses around the very blue Portland, Maine metropolitan area. As I wrote last August
, they seemed to be everywhere. People were still proud to identify themselves with President Obama and his policies. Now I have to look for them. Driving around my usual routes down there last week, I saw fewer than a dozen. What does it mean?
Yeah, the president’s poll numbers are tanking. Yeah, making fun of him on Saturday Night Live is getting to be a habit. Yeah, 53% of Americans don’t trust him now - but think of what it takes for all those bumper stickers to disappear. People who loved what Obama represented now want to sever their public identification with him. After listening to his 1000th speech, they walked to their vehicle, saw the stickers, and made a decision to peel them off. Some had been on since 2007 or 2008 and it’s not as easy to take those old ones off as it was to put them on. The adhesive hardens. The vinyl breaks up and your fingernails wear down trying to get purchase on remaining fragments. Then you need to rub off dirty old adhesive with a solvent.
These are actions akin to taking off a wedding ring and throwing it away. Or, in an age in which people tend to just live together without getting married, it’s more than just choosing to sleep on the couch. It’s like putting his clothes out on the sidewalk - or even throwing them out a second-story window if you’re’ really mad that your health insurance policy was cancelled after hearing him promise you thirty times that if you like your policy, you can keep it - period.
But, unless he’s impeached, Obama will still be your president for more than three more years. Considering that, it seems more like you bought a house with him and you both have to live in it together until the divorce is final and you can sell it. Then you can split up the the proceeds and move on, but that can take a long time. Meanwhile you treat him with silent contempt and try not to brush up against him when walking by.
But what if he keeps on talking? Should you tell him to just shut up because you don’t believe him any more? Why does he keep thinking he can make everything all right by giving another speech? For three more years you’ll think to yourself: “What did I ever see in him?” and “How could I ever have fallen in love with him?” and “Why didn’t I pay attention to those early warning signs?” and “He’s been lying about a lot of things. How could I have been so stupid?”
The media fell in love with him too and avoided looking into his relationships with friends like Bill Ayers - the left-wing terrorist, or Reverend Jeremiah Wright - the racist pastor, or Frank Marshal Davis - the communist pornographe
r who was his mentor. They never looked into his college transcripts either or whether he and his wife got into those prestigious universities through Affirmative Action, and not because they were smart, hard-working students in high school. He belonged to the “Choom Gang” in high school for cripe sakes. He was a stoner. But he made all of you feel good when he spoke. He gave you tingles up your leg. When he said he would bring Hope and Change, you thought he meant your hopes, the changes you wanted. He knew that. He kept it vague and you all swooned because he said it so well.
Yeah, the man sure could talk. But now you’re realizing, along with everyone else, that that’s all he knows how to do. And it isn’t enough anymore. Talk is cheap, but it’s all he’s got. You know he’s going to keep on talking, and you’re not sure you’ll be able to stand it for three whole years.
And you only have yourself to blame.