'Let's Go Brandon' Political Chant Is Only Gaining Steam

Popular anti-Biden chant stems from a sports interview, of all things
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2021 12:42 PM CDT
Origins of Political Meme: 'Let's Go Brandon!'
People gather ahead of an appearance by former President Trump at a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa., on Oct. 9.   (AP Photo/Thomas Beaumont)

The Washington Post ran an odd correction on a political story published Saturday: "A previous version of this article incorrectly said a crowd broke into a 'Let’s go Brandon' chant during a Donald Trump Jr. speech in Georgia," it reads, and continues: "The crowd broke into a 'F--- Joe Biden!' chant at that speech in September. The error, which was inserted by an editor, has been corrected." But there's a reason for that editor's confusion. Coverage:

  • The origins: "Let's Go Brandon" has become firmly established as an anti-Biden chant, and Slate explains that it's all because of a NASCAR interview. Earlier this month, NBC sports reporter Kelli Stavast was interviewing driver Brandon Brown after a victory, and she said fans in the background were chanting, "Let's Go Brandon" in his honor. Nope. The chant was actually "F--- Joe Biden!"
  • Catching on: Biden critics have seized on the moment, and they've been chanting and tweeting "Let's Go Brandon" everywhere. It's a way to convey their message and simultaneously avoid the censors, per the BBC. "Another common usage of this catchphrase since then has been to attach it to news that makes the president look bad," notes BGR. "For example—The economy is in the dumps, you say? Well, let’s go, Brandon!"

  • In Congress: Last week, GOP congressman Bill Posey of Florida ended a speech on the House floor in which he blasted the president's Build Back Better plans with, yes, "Let's go, Brandon!" See it here. On a conservative podcast, Sen. Ted Cruz called the phrase "one of the funniest things I've ever seen."
  • In song: There's not one but two hit songs featuring the phrase, notes Fox News. Rapper Bryson Gray reached No. 1 on the iTunes chart Monday with his version. That's just ahead of Loza Alexander's version at No. 3. For the record, Adele is between them with her new (non-political) song.
  • Media slam: In addition to being a shot at Biden, conservatives also see the phrase as a slam against the mainstream media, writes Anthony Zurcher at the BBC. They accuse NBC's Stavast (who has not commented on all this) of deliberately getting the phrase wrong to protect Biden. "The meme feeds into several long-running beliefs in conservative circles—that liberals are snowflakes who get offended at things quickly and that so-called liberal media will censor all criticism of Biden," says Amarnath Amarasingam, a political studies professor at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada.
(Read more President Biden stories.)

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