How 'Let's Go Brandon' became code for insulting Joe Biden

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  hallux  •  one month ago  •  43 comments

By:   Colleen Long, The Associated Press

How 'Let's Go Brandon' became code for insulting Joe Biden

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



WASHINGTON (AP) - When Republican Rep. Bill Posey of Florida ended an Oct. 21 House floor speech with a fist pump and the phrase “Let's go, Brandon!” it may have seemed cryptic and weird to many who were listening. But the phrase was already growing in right-wing circles, and now the seemingly upbeat sentiment -- actually a stand-in for swearing at Joe Biden -- is everywhere.

South Carolina Republican Jeff Duncan wore a “Let's Go Brandon” face mask at the Capitol last week. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz posed with a “Let's Go Brandon” sign at the World Series. Sen. Mitch McConnell's press secretary retweeted a photo of the phrase on a construction sign in Virginia.

The line has become conservative code for something far more vulgar: “F-- Joe Biden.” It's all the rage among Republicans wanting to prove their conservative credentials, a not-so-secret handshake that signals they're in sync with the party's base.

Americans are accustomed to their leaders being publicly jeered, and former President Donald Trump's often-coarse language seemed to expand the boundaries of what counts as normal political speech.

But how did Republicans settle on the Brandon phrase as a G-rated substitute for its more vulgar three-word cousin?

It started at an Oct. 2 NASCAR race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Brandon Brown, a 28-year-old driver, had won his first Xfinity Series and was being interviewed by an NBC Sports reporter. The crowd behind him was chanting something at first difficult to make out. The reporter suggested they were chanting “Let's go, Brandon” to cheer the driver. But it became increasingly clear they were saying: “F-- Joe Biden.”

NASCAR and NBC have since taken steps to limit “ambient crowd noise” during interviews, but it was too late - the phrase already had taken off.

When the president visited a construction site in suburban Chicago a few weeks ago to promote his vaccinate-or-test mandate, protesters deployed both three-word phrases. This past week, Biden's motorcade was driving past a “Let's Go Brandon” banner as the president passed through Plainfield, New Jersey.

And a group chanted “Let's go, Brandon” outside a Virginia park on Monday when Biden made an appearance on behalf of the Democratic candidate for governor, Terry McAuliffe. Two protesters dropped the euphemism entirely, holding up hand-drawn signs with the profanity.

On Friday morning on a Southwest flight from Houston to Albuquerque, the pilot signed off his greeting over the public address system with the phrase, to audible gasps from some passengers.

Veteran GOP ad maker Jim Innocenzi had no qualms about the coded crudity, calling it “hilarious.”

“Unless you are living in a cave, you know what it means,” he said. “But it's done with a little bit of a class. And if you object and are taking it too seriously, go away.”

America's presidents have endured meanness for centuries; Grover Cleveland faced chants of “Ma, Ma Where's my Pa?” in the 1880s over rumors he'd fathered an illegitimate child. Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson were the subject of poems that leaned into racist tropes and allegations of bigamy.

“We have a sense of the dignity of the office of president that has consistently been violated to our horror over the course of American history,” said Cal Jillson, a politics expert and professor in the political science department at Southern Methodist University. “We never fail to be horrified by some new outrage.”

There were plenty of old outrages.

“F-- Trump” graffiti still marks many an overpass in Washington, D.C. George W. Bush had a shoe thrown in his face. Bill Clinton was criticized with such fervor that his most vocal critics were labeled the “Clinton crazies.”

The biggest difference, though, between the sentiments hurled at the Grover Clevelands of yore and modern politicians is the amplification they get on social media.

“Before the expansion of social media a few years ago, there wasn't an easily accessible public forum to shout your nastiest and darkest public opinions,” said Matthew Delmont, a history professor at Dartmouth College.

Even the racism and vitriol to which former President Barack Obama was subjected was tempered in part because Twitter was relatively new. There was no TikTok. As for Facebook, leaked company documents have recently revealed how the platform increasingly ignored hate speech and misinformation and allowed it to proliferate.

A portion of the U.S. was already angry before the Brandon moment, believing the 2020 presidential election was rigged despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, which has stood the test of recounts and court cases. But now it's more than that to die-hard Trump supporters, said Stanley Renshon, a political scientist and psychoanalyst at the City University of New York.

He cited the Afghanistan withdrawal, the southern border situation and rancorous school board debates as situations in which Biden critics feel that “how American institutions are telling the American public what they clearly see and understand to be true, is in fact not true.”

Trump hasn't missed the moment. His Save America PAC now sells a $45 T-shirt featuring “Let's go Brandon” above an American flag. One message to supporters reads, “#FJB or LET'S GO BRANDON? Either way, President Trump wants YOU to have our ICONIC new shirt.”

Separately, T-shirts are popping up in storefronts with the slogan and the NASCAR logo.

And as for the real Brandon, things haven't been so great. He drives for a short-staffed, underfunded team owned by his father. And while that win - his first career victory - was huge for him, the team has long struggled for sponsorship and existing partners have not been marketing the driver since the slogan.

Associated Press writers Aamer Madhani, Mary Clare Jalonick, Brian Slodysko and Will Weissert in Washington and Jenna Fryer in Charlotte, N.C., contributed to this report.


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Hallux
Sophomore Principal
1  seeder  Hallux    one month ago

And yet what ‘we’ are really supposed to be affronted is about five or so guys standing alongside a campaign bus dressed up as “some good people”.

LET’S GO 'PATRIOT' POUTRAGE!

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2  JohnRussell    one month ago

The whole thing is lame. 

They should all be embarrassed. 

( "We have this really cool idea. We'll all shout Let's Go Brandon but it will really mean "Fuck Joe Biden". It's so clever") 

Uh, get the fuck out of here dimwit. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @2    one month ago
They should all be embarrassed.

Why no outrage when it was done to Donald Trump?

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
2.1.1  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1    one month ago

Now who's bring up Trump?

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.2  Vic Eldred  replied to  Hallux @2.1.1    one month ago

It's relevant. You can't call one every name under the sun and then whine when the other gets called out for being a pawn.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.1.3  JohnRussell  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.2    one month ago

I dont think there was any organized chants of Fuck Trump at college sporting events. If there were I didnt see them. 

The complaint that the same thing happened to Trump as this "lets Go Brandon" idiocy is just more right wing whataboutism. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.4  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.3    one month ago
I dont think there was any organized chants of Fuck Trump at college sporting events.

Nope, but we heard it just about everywhere else including right here on NT where he was just called a White supremacist asshole just minutes ago.

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
2.1.5  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.2    one month ago

I'm far to good at chess for your irreverent gambits Vic, your seeds and comments are replete with name calling.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.6  Vic Eldred  replied to  Hallux @2.1.5    one month ago

You do think highly of yourself. I don't share in your esteem for yourself.

As for the vile commentary on NV - All can see where it comes from....the same place those molotov cocktails came from during the summer of 2020.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.1.7  JohnRussell  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.4    one month ago

Vic, people commenting individually on a discussion forum and thousands of people chanting in unison at a sports event are two different things. 

You have gotten in the bad habit of trying to find similarities between things that are not all similar. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.8  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.7    one month ago
Vic, people commenting individually on a discussion forum and thousands of people chanting in unison at a sports event are two different things. 

That may be, but the left began the name-calling AND as I say, there was no whining when it was Trump. As a matter of fact when I mentioned it here, I was told by the powers that be - that it was "free speech!"


You have gotten in the bad habit of trying to find similarities between things that are not all similar. 

I know, there is always a technical difference when the left does it!

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
2.1.9  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.6    one month ago
You do think highly of yourself. I don't share in your esteem for yourself.

How alike we are.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.10  Vic Eldred  replied to  Hallux @2.1.9    one month ago

Nope, there is a big difference between the masterpiece and the imitation.

FBa51KIWEA41lPG?format=jpg&name=small

Our readers can tell the difference.

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
2.1.11  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.10    one month ago

Ah, Vermeer ... thank God for those 'revisionist' art historians. Kind of reminds me of the same room that the Pope meets up with dignitaries. Vermeer also liked using the same room over and over.

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
2.1.12  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.10    one month ago

Perhaps 'our readers' would like to delve more deeply into Vermeer's portrait, maybe even you:

The surprising find that changes the meaning of a Vermeer masterpiece

 
 
 
squiggy
Sophomore Quiet
2.1.13  squiggy  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.3    one month ago

"I dont think there was any organized chants of Fuck Trump..."

They were mumbling something under their pussyhats but what's killing you are the spontaneity and ingenuity.

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
2.1.14  Tacos!  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.3    one month ago
I dont think there was any organized chants of Fuck Trump at college sporting events.

Oh yeah. Crowds were always famously respectful of Trump. /s

The complaint that the same thing happened to Trump as this "lets Go Brandon" idiocy is just more right wing whataboutism

Complaining about anti-Biden chants while dismissing or excusing anti-Trump chants is hypocrisy.

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
2.1.15  bbl-1  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1    one month ago

"Stormy Who."

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.16  Vic Eldred  replied to  Hallux @2.1.11    one month ago

You know of Vermeer?

That God for Google, right?

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.17  Vic Eldred  replied to  squiggy @2.1.13    one month ago

Oh they did it all. Now they want civility for Biden.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.1.18  JohnRussell  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.17    one month ago

Trump was the most un-civil president in history.  I wish there was a way to keep you from making such inept and preposterous comparisons. 

Vic, be happy you are given so much leeway here to gaslight this audience. 

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
2.1.19  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.16    one month ago

Why would I or anyone with 3 years of art history under their belt not know of Vermeer? Vermeer was a master at the intricacies of light, your attempt to equate yourself with him only served to reveal you as an amateur of darkness.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.20  Vic Eldred  replied to  Hallux @2.1.19    one month ago

Why would anyone with a mouse in their hand not know everything?

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
2.1.21  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.20    one month ago

Why would anyone seed a book review that he has not read?

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
2.1.22  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.17    one month ago
Now they want civility for Biden.

How about some originality instead?

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.23  Vic Eldred  replied to  Hallux @2.1.21    one month ago

That's what a book review is for. It's usually a preview of new books.

In case you didn't know.

If you don't like books, it may be better to put me on ignore.

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
2.1.24  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.23    one month ago

Put you on ignore? Perish the thought ... but you are free to take your own advice.

Bye for now, I have plumbing tools to grapple with and hopefully tenant that will not grapple with my crack.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
3  Sean Treacy    one month ago

We should all be polite   like President Obama and call political   opponents names like teabaggers. 

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
3.1  devangelical  replied to  Sean Treacy @3    one month ago

teabagging.jpg

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
3.1.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  devangelical @3.1    one month ago

Thanks for making my point.  Well done.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
3.1.2  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.1.1    one month ago

Sean,

That individual named themself. No one had to make up a dumb code phrase.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
3.1.3  Sean Treacy  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3.1.2    one month ago

Lol.. And this, right here, is why McAuliffe thought the stunt in Virginia would work. 

 
 
 
Ronin2
PhD Quiet
4  Ronin2    one month ago

How cute the author thinks that only far right conservatives are chanting "Lets go Brandon!"

How about a stadium of college football fans. Think they are all conservatives?

How about in liberal Boston at a Red Sox game. Those have to be all conservatives./S

No shame in calling the human fuck up machine the left installed in the White House what he is.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
4.1  Ender  replied to  Ronin2 @4    one month ago

It is weird to me that you think in such simple terms.

So there can be no conservative people in a so called Liberal town, or the opposite, no Liberals in a so called conservative town...

 
 
 
squiggy
Sophomore Quiet
4.1.1  squiggy  replied to  Ender @4.1    one month ago

Yea, and all those oversized thyroid conditions in the ice cream aisle at Walmart, too.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Senior Participates
4.2  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Ronin2 @4    one month ago

The chant was heard at a concert a week ago in Raleigh, NC.  

 
 
 
squiggy
Sophomore Quiet
5  squiggy    one month ago

Ya got me. I feel badly about Brown.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
6  Vic Eldred    one month ago

Don't forget to boycott AT&T

 
 
 
MrFrost
Professor Principal
7  MrFrost    one month ago

Found a gal in a crowd that's not shouting "lets go brandon"...

Imagine having a wife that thinks you are a vile POS. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
7.1  JohnRussell  replied to  MrFrost @7    one month ago
Imagine having a wife that thinks you are a vile POS. 

That would be nice, but the recent books that have come out about Melania and the end of the Trump presidency  (over the summer) indicate that she is pretty much behind him all the way. 

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
7.1.1  Ender  replied to  JohnRussell @7.1    one month ago

I have said that all along. She is just as bad as he is.

 
 
 
MrFrost
Professor Principal
7.1.2  MrFrost  replied to  JohnRussell @7.1    one month ago
she is pretty much behind him all the way. 

Oh I am not giving her any slack at all, John. She is as disgusting as he is. Just found her facial expression damn funny. 

 
 
 
MrFrost
Professor Principal
7.1.3  MrFrost  replied to  Ender @7.1.1    one month ago

I have said that all along. She is just as bad as he is.

100% agree. 

 
 
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