Sentiment toward President Obama surely is shifting, if bumper stickers have anything to do with it:
How's that hopey, changey thing working out for you?
Bankrupt America? Yes, we can!
I hope I have some change left in four years.
Those are some of the top sellers at CafePress.com, an on-demand printer that allows people to customize and sell their own bumper stickers, T-shirts, mugs and other items. The items people are customizing and buying the most offer an interesting barometer into what the public is thinking. What the public is thinking lately doesn't bode well for Obama:
Barack Obama: A new chapter in American history, Chapter 13.
The audacity of hype.
Yes we can ... destroy America!
In the lead-up to the 2008 election, Obama's bumper stickers were mostly positive. Six months prior to the election, 60 percent of the political bumper stickers sold were Obama stickers (only 28 percent of the sales were for McCain/Palin stickers). Positive Obama stickers outsold anti-Obama stickers at a rate of 2-to-1.
Here's another gauge: During the election, CafePress customers produced twice as many Obama items (3.3 million) as they did McCain/Palin items (1.7 million). Seventy-five percent of the Obama items were positive. So what kinds of bumper stickers are being produced six months into Obama's presidency? Mostly negative.
"Of the top 100 selling stickers during the past six months, 85 percent have been political in nature," said Marc Cowlin, CafePress director of public relations. "Of those, 65 percent are anti-Obama. The most popular designs are directed at the bailout, financial concerns about spending and proposed health care reform."
It's true that Bush initiated the bailout. But Obama used it to do things for which it was not intended - such as buy a couple of automotive companies. In any event, bailing out people who made bad decisions has infuriated many, as these popular stickers point out:
Honk if I'm paying your mortgage.
The big three couldn't sell me a car, so they stole my taxes instead.
America: Take from the poor and give to the rich.
Many bumper stickers target government spending. Bush ran our debt up from $6 trillion to $11 trillion. Obama is making Bush look like a piker. Obama's spending will run our debt to unsustainable levels - beyond $20 trillion in 10 years. His big-spending ways have not been lost on bumper-sticker producers:
Honk if the word trillion scares you.
Are you better off than you were $4 trillion dollars ago?
Work harder! Obama needs your money!
Where stimulus spending is concerned, these bumper stickers offer more common sense:
Hey, Barack, we're baroke!
If Obama's stimulus was working, I'd be working.
No, we can't ... afford any of this.
That brings us to health care. Obama is letting the same Congress that wrote the stimulus bill - the same geniuses who packed that bill full of programs that had nothing to do with stimulating anything - draft a massive bill to "reform" our health care system. I hope to God they embrace bumper-sticker wisdom before they do anything:
You think health care is expensive now? Wait until it's free.
Government health care: IRS compassion, post-office efficiency.
Obama and Democrats are moving fast to transform America. They continue to spend recklessly. They are making a power grab over our health-care and energy industries. They will have to raise taxes significantly to pay for the massive government expansion.
How do many Americans feel about these bold moves? These bumper stickers sum up our feelings well:
Didn't our ancestors leave Europe to get away from this crap?
$11 trillion and climbing -- now that's a lot of change!
Tom Purcell, a humor columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. E-mail him at Purcell@caglecartoons.com.