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June 26, 2009

Bumper Sticker Set -- One Year Later

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

In this posting from about a year ago I included a photo of a bumper sticker clad Prius.

Since then, a lot of political water has gone over the dam including a presidential election and the first five months of a new administration. I thought it might be fun to discover what effect these events had on that same Prius' sticker collection, so I swung by the street in northeast Seattle where it's usually parked and took an update photo.

Last year's and this year's photos are shown below.

15 June, 2008

24 June, 2009

There seem to be three additions and no deletions from a year ago.

To the immediate left of the license plate is a white square that probably once had a message but now appears to be faded away. Opposite the plate is a round "EU" (European Union) sticker with small member nation flags forming the outer edge of the circle.

Below the yellow "War is Terrorism sticker on the bumper is a small, mostly red sticker for the Democrat candidate in the race for Washington's 8th Congressional District. The Prius' home is not in the 8th District -- that's mostly across Lake Washington in the Bellevue-Redmond area. But it was one race that was competitive for both sides; as it happened, the Republican won.

My interpretation of all this? The Prius' owner is both satisfied with the state of the world and too lazy to strip off stickers that are politically obsolete.

He's not alone. Nearly five years after the campaign, I still see "John Kerry" and "Kerry-Edwards" stickers a few times a week. I can understand leaving them on during Bush's second term as a form of protest. But why not remove them now that there's a Democrat in the White House.



posted by Donald at June 26, 2009


Christ, I also see Bush/Cheney stickers occasionally, so what? You live in fucking Seattle, a very liberal city. What do you expect? I live in the Sacramento area, a very conservative area. I see a shitload of conservative bumper stickers, some many years old. I think most people just don't feel like carefully scraping them off. I really don't see any insight in this post. Sure, I know the POINT of this post. "Stupid, lazy liberals, hardee har."

Posted by: JV on June 26, 2009 6:40 PM

JV -- The point of my post was not that liberals are stupid. As a matter of fact, as best I can tell, I'm not intelligent, educated or sophisticated enough to be a liberal. I tried really hard, 1960-1978, to be one but I just wasn't cut out for it.

The point of the piece was set out in the second paragraph. I was genuinely curious what an apparent sticker addict would do once the political climate shifted. After all, he might have stripped 'em all off. Or stripped and then replaced with a new set. Turns out he did little.

In Seattle, Bush/McCain/Palin, etc. stickers are too rare to locate or comment on -- other than to note the fact that they're rare.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on June 26, 2009 11:50 PM

The older, theoretically obsolete bumper stickers remain because their primary purpose was never to influence public opinion. They were, and are, symbols of the car owner's virtue (in the liberal sense).

Their message is, "I've been there in every cause since I bought this Prius -- Prius, you notice -- and I've got the slogan to prove it."

This form of display is similar to the medals worn on the uniform of a Soviet World War II veteran general. Except, of course, that the general probably hadn't been swanning around Stalingrad in winter in a heated car with adjustable seats for comfort and bumper stickers along the lines of "Support our troops, bring them home."

Posted by: Rick Darby on June 27, 2009 9:17 AM

I had a bumper sticker on my old Honda Accord from the 2002 senate election for a little over 5 years. It helped me locate my car in parking lots; the Honda Accord I drove was a popular year and color. I eventually sold that car for $200 with the bumper sticker still on. Sometimes I look closely at the back bumpers of similar Accords in hopes that I'll see my old car on the road again.

Posted by: I_Affe on June 27, 2009 11:45 AM


Posted by: GW on June 27, 2009 12:46 PM

Rick Darby, I plead guilty to your comment. I still keep my Ron Paul sticker on my truck just to remind citizens in this county that I was one of the 12 or so persons in Thomas County who voted for him. But I don't really think they care.

Posted by: Charlton Griffin on June 28, 2009 8:57 AM

Given the tendency of our liberal friends here and elsewhere to keep mentioning Bush every time a criticism of The One is made, I suspect the bumper sticker addict didn't remove his "obsolete" stickers because, well, he's addicted to them.

It's like, you know, as if had George W Bush ceased to be President instead of engaging in a coup d'etat and staying in power, it would have been necessary to, like, re-elect him sort of symbolically you know, just to keep that IMPEACH sticker relevant and that IMPEACH feeling all fresh and righteous and impeachy.

Liberals will never give up on beating Bush. He's just too useful to them. And so your Prius guy will never remove those stickers. The car will rot beneath them first.

Posted by: PatrickH on June 28, 2009 9:15 PM

Many years ago, I used bumper stickers to cover up the rust spots on my car. If you tried to remove a bumper sticker, you took off rust and paint with it.

Posted by: Julie Brook on June 29, 2009 8:59 AM

PatrickH, who is "The One"? Is this person similar Saint Reagan, the one the Republicans worship? You can't point out how Saint Reagan increased our national debt to record levels in order to pay for those huge tax increases to the rich without upsetting some "conservative" nutter.

Posted by: Upstate Guy on June 29, 2009 11:17 AM

Given the horrible driving of the typical Prius owner, it is not a bad thing that they are plastered with bumper stickers so that we can give them a wide berth.

Posted by: thaprof on June 29, 2009 2:03 PM

Hi Upstate!

I was mistaken to attribute continuing Bush Derangement Syndrome to liberals. I was wrong to say that liberals will continue to use Bush to deflect any criticism of THE ONE (take a guess who he is, UG, just one though). I was wrong...

Because liberals will also use Ronald Reagan!

Any port in a massive deficit-driven storm, as they say. Perhaps you can call on THE ONE to still the waves. Don't beings at HIS metaphysical level have the power to do that? Why, I think they do. Did not HE HIMSELF claim that ocean levels would recede when HE took office? Or was HIS claim that would they already start receding once HE was elected?


Posted by: PatrickH on June 29, 2009 3:35 PM

Removing bumper stickers isn't nearly as easy as applying them; and as your photos show, you can't even count on covering them with newer ones because they never quite match size.

Speaking of removing old campaign ads, there was a building in San Francisco which had a legible ad into the 1990s for "Alan Cranston for State Controller, 1956". It's been painted over now, but it took 40 years to find someone willing to spend the money to cover up the old ad.

Posted by: Anthony on June 30, 2009 1:09 AM

JV you just rose to the bait like a trout to the fly, didn't you? It's never hard to spot a lib, besides his woefully outdated bumper stickers and prickly demeanor, there's also the hygiene issue.

Also their politics stink...

Posted by: Jake Bronson on July 1, 2009 12:40 PM

Jake, I wasn't basing my admittedly prickly reaction to just this single post, but rather a history of lib-baiting type posts. Still, you gotta admit, the bumper sticker thing isn't just a liberal phenomenon. The types of stickers you see all depends on where you live.

OK, gotta go take my bi-monthly shower.

Posted by: JV on July 1, 2009 1:46 PM

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