After the White House announced that Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri had been killed in a drone strike over the weekend, liberals responded by posting memes of "Dark Brandon," a more congratulatory iteration of the "Let's go Brandon" meme started by conservatives, to praise President Joe Biden.
The term "Dark Brandon" first surfaced in early 2022 and gained more engagement in liberal circles as Democrats lampooned the related Dark MAGA trend promoted by both Trump supporters and more extreme political groups.
Following the news al-Zawahiri had been killed, Dark Brandon memes like the ones below popped up, with many juxtaposing former President Donald Trump's behavior with Biden's current success.
\u201cOur hero in the shadows\u2026 #DarkBrandon\u201d— JumboPosterInChief (@JumboPosterInChief) 1659398756
Others soon followed, their general theme being one highlighting the Biden administration's competence in comparison to the Trump administration's incompetence.
\u201cThe Dark Brandon Saga:\n\n- The largest climate bill in history that reduces the deficit $1.9T over 20 years (TBD passage)\n\n- Bipartisan infrastructure bill\n\n- Bipartisan gun control (first major one in over 20 years)\n\n- Bipartisan CHIPS+\n\n- Bipartisan bill to save USPS\u201d— Blake Allen (@Blake Allen) 1659667274
\u201cIn the past week:\n\n- Top Al-Queda leader killed\n- Sinema agrees to IRA deal\n- Finland + Sweden approved to NATO\n- CHIPs + PACT Act passed\n- Uninsured rate at 8%\n- 50 days of decreasing gas\n- 2nd exc. order on abortion rights\n- 76 judges confirmed\n\nYOU WILL KNEEL TO DARK BRANDON\u201d— shiv \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8 (@shiv \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8) 1659666853
\u201cDark Brandon is the president that\ntrump could never ever Ever EVER be.\u201d— gop warship go f yourself/BLM (@gop warship go f yourself/BLM) 1659727396
\u201c#DarkBrandon\u201d— Matt the \ud83d\udcaaBuff Joker \ud83d\udcaa Guy (@Matt the \ud83d\udcaaBuff Joker \ud83d\udcaa Guy) 1656607647
\u201cNo civilian casualties!! \nBare thee WITNESS to Dark Brandon\u2019s POWUH!\u201d— Terry Lee \ud83d\udc99\ud83d\udc9c\u738b\u745e\u6c11 (@Terry Lee \ud83d\udc99\ud83d\udc9c\u738b\u745e\u6c11) 1659389827
\u201c@tify330 you wanted a thread of Dark Brandon memes. Ask & ye shall receive!\u201d— Michelle_BYoung (@Michelle_BYoung) 1659707674
\u201cDark Brandon is uniting the Democratic Party. Populists Dems love memes and gimmicks, moderates/centrists love policy, and we ALL want progress. It\u2019s been a great week.\u201d— Candidly Tiff \ud83c\udf1f (@Candidly Tiff \ud83c\udf1f) 1659709167
"Let's go Brandon!" has been used by conservatives to denigrate President Joe Biden.
In October 2021 an anti-Biden rap song began making the rounds, eventually rising to the top of the iTunes hip-hop chart.
\u201cI was explaining Dark Brandon to someone last night who wasn\u2019t even familiar with Let\u2019s Go Brandon and as the words were coming out of my mouth I thought \u201cThis must be what insane people sound like.\u201d https://t.co/jtrxkWxnAv\u201d— Conor Sen (@Conor Sen) 1659698253
The song, entitled "Let's Go Brandon," is performed by rapper Loza Alexander and went viral on TikTok.
It was inspired by the "Let's go Brandon!" meme that has taken social media by storm since NBC's Kelli Stavast interviewed NASCAR driver Brandon Brown after he came in first place at Alabama's Talladega Superspeedway in early October.
The interview went viral because the crowd could be heard chanting "F*ck Joe Biden" in the background, which Stavast misheard as "Let's go Brandon!"
The moment, and the use of the chant since, is widely viewed as an example of the heightened political polarization in American politics as the Biden administration continues to work on bridging the gaps in a stalled legislature in an effort to codify its social and economic agenda.
President Biden has given every indication he is, despite conservatives' claims, fully aware of the meaning behind "Let's go Brandon!".
In fact, it's safe to say the President appears to have a sense of humor about it, as when he met with a man named Brandon to drum up support for his administration's "Build Back Better" intiative.
Although neither the President nor his social media and PR team confirmed Biden was slyly putting divisive rhetoric to sleep, he received praise from social media users for subverting the joke.