Democrats Turn 'Brandon' Meme Around to Praise Biden

Jokey images depict Biden, aka 'Dark Brandon, as 'master of the political dark arts' following Democratic wins
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2022 12:16 PM CDT
Democrats Jokingly Praise Their Overlord: 'Dark Brandon'
President Biden responds to reporters questions as he walks to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, on his way to his Rehoboth Beach, Del., home after an isolation, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – A week after Joe Biden was elected president, a Chinese illustrator began spewing out images of Biden as an evil, all-powerful being with glowing eyes. Yang Quan often shared the images with pro-China messages. So why are several now going viral, spread not by Chinese sympathizers, but by Biden's own Democrats? As Politico reports, "far from the portrayal Yang set out to create, it’s been fashioned into a boast, depicting Biden playing five-dimensional chess, a master of the political dark arts." Here's the context behind the "Dark Brandon" memes:

  • They began surfacing on social media in March, though initially some were "not complimentary of Biden," per the Washington Post. Politico notes they were spread "sometimes ironically as a way of mocking Trump superfans."

  • They turned more favorable to Biden as fans celebrated recent political victories, including the killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and Congress' passing of the climate, health, and tax bill. "Dark Brandon is crushing it," deputy press secretary Andrew Bates tweeted Sunday alongside a meme of Biden with the caption, "Your malarkey has been going on for long enough, kiddo."
  • Rob Flaherty, White House director of digital strategy, tweeted an image of Biden with red laser eyes from his official White House account so it would enter the historical archives, the Post reports, noting "the tone reflects the shift in outlook at the White House, from a struggle to accomplish items on Biden’s agenda to a mood of more swaggering confidence." Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy also shared a meme.
  • They show Democrats' attempts to co-opt "Brandon," from the right's mocking "Let's Go Brandon" slogan. It’s also a play on the "Dark MAGA" movement, amplified by Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, which promotes a scenario in which a more radical Donald Trump returns to the White House to seek revenge on his opponents, per Insider. "Dark MAGA" memes often show Trump with laser beams for eyes.
  • There was no chuckling from the Republican National Committee. Rep Emma Vaughn condemned the White House for posting "Chinese propaganda to celebrate the fact they raised taxes during a recession and gave away billions of dollars for electric vehicles that depend on China for parts," per Politico.
  • Others claimed an eagle that replaced the bat symbol on a meme depicting Biden as Batman was the Nazi reichsadler, per Fox News. Bates "is posting literal Nazi memes on Twitter," tweeted Donald Trump Jr. A rep for Republican Sen. Josh Hawley said it was appropriate for someone "who reminisces about his segregationist 'mentor.'"
  • The man who says he created the "Dark Brandon" meme tells the Post it was meant to depict a bald eagle. Tobin Stone adds the memes are a celebration of "win after win" for Democrats, "from the gun bill, to declining gas prices, and now the Inflation Reduction Act finally passing." Portraying Biden "as this powerful figure that made it all happen is just good fun."
(Read more Joe Biden stories.)

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