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[NYT] ‘Dark Brandon’ Rises, and Buoys Biden’s Beleaguered Faithful : r/politics :marseybiden2:


‘Dark Brandon’ Rises, and Buoys Biden’s Beleaguered Faithful

Inside the White House, the vibe is shifting, even if the polls have not budged much.

Nobody would ever accuse Joe Biden of being Extremely Online.

As a candidate, he strongly implied that he was not especially interested in social media. In a reversal of the usual way of the political world, his aides made it known that a communications team crafted his tweets and posts, not Biden himself. His campaign focused on winning local TV markets, not winning the morning with the Twitter cognoscenti and the "Morning Joe" regulars on MSNBC.

In an age of micro news cycles that come and go like puffs of wind --- and running against an incumbent president who tweeted at all hours, about whatever seemed to cross his mind --- Biden's fuddy-duddy approach to the modern news media offered an implicit promise to voters: I'll be the remedy to the way that Donald Trump lives rent-free in your heads.

During the Democratic presidential primary in 2020, a Biden adviser vented to Ryan Lizza, my former colleague at Politico, about how Biden's extremely offline persona was actshually part and parcel of his winning strategy of appealing to what political operatives often refer to as "the normies."

Those normal voters weren't glued to their phones all day; they were doing "normal" American things like traipsing off to work, shopping for groceries, calling their grandkids, watching "Wheel of Fortune" and generally going about their lives without following the latest memes or chattering-class obsessions du jour.

"I get this question all the time: Why does the press hate him so much?" the aide told Lizza. "And the answer is because they are younger and they want someone cooler."

First of all, let's make one thing clear: The press does not "hate" Joe Biden. But this unidentified aide's point was that, in lavishing attention on fresher candidates like Pete Buttigieg or more fashionable pols on the left like Bernie Sanders, elite reporters and cable talking heads were missing Biden's genuine appeal to the older voters who make up the base of the Democratic Party --- and who would end up lifting him to the nomination.

It was a chin-out expression of confidence in Biden's political strategy at a time when the outcome of the primary was uncertain. But it also betrayed enduring, Rodney Dangerfield-esque feelings of resentment among his advisers that Biden don't get no respect among media tastemakers and pundits.

"People who went through the primary and the general election with him learned to take this longer view of the vicissitudes of the political news cycle," said Anita Dunn, a senior White House adviser.

She added that, for all the criticism of the president's age --- he'll be 79 in November --- and the decades he's spent in the Senate and as vice president, his years of experience in Washington had given him a "wisdom" and a patience about the rhythms of deal-making in Congress that would be hard to replicate.

At times, the Biden team's resentment of what it sees as the press and pundit class's constant underestimation of his political instincts and abilities has burst into public view.

One incident from the primary stands out. In January 2020, in a sit-down interview with the editorial board of this newspaper, Biden blurted out: "I ain't dead and I'm not going to die!"

The New York Times editorial board (which is completely walled off from the news operation, where I work) decided to endorse both Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar instead of Biden, a Solomonic exercise that infuriated his team.

In response, the Biden campaign released a video of a gushing encounter he had with Jacquelyn Brittany, a security guard who had escorted the candidate up to the Times boardroom for his interview. Brittany returned during the Democratic convention to nominate Biden, a story his aides fed in advance to The Washington Post.

Inside Biden's campaign, his phrase --- "I ain't dead and I'm not going to die!" --- became something of an internal mantra, an expression of the grit with which aides felt they approached an election in which they were never accorded the respect they were due.

So, to me, it was especially interesting to watch as White House officials recently began to embrace "Dark Brandon" --- a palimpsest of an internet meme that has been painted over with almost impenetrable layers of online irony.

Stick with me here as I try to explain it, briefly.

The net roots of 'Dark Brandon'

The series of memes, according to sites that track such things, has wended its way from sarcastic jokes about Biden's supposed dementia to, now, a bear hug by the very team that still goes by the maxim "Twitter is not real life."

It began in the winter as a tongue-in-cheek appropriation of "Let's Go Brandon" --- a right-wing catchphrase that developed from a TV commentator's mischaracterization of what the crowd at a NASCAR race was saying about Biden (hint: a rude insult) into an entire ecosystem of coy bumper stickers and T-shirts.

The repackaging of the "Brandon" slogan soon combined with the "Dark MAGA" meme, which had grown popular among online conservatives and roughly conveys the message that Trump and his most loyal supporters are plotting a vengeful comeback.

Highly stylized images of the current president featuring an otherworldly glow or red laser beams coming out of his eyes, often including stock Biden phrases like "No malarkey," began popping up in meme factories like 4Chan, a rowdy internet messaging board, or on Twitter.

At the time, Biden was struggling to pass his agenda on Capitol Hill. But as the president has started to rack up legislative victories and favorable jobs numbers, Democratic Twitterati began jettisoning the irony and embracing the meme wholeheartedly.

The White House jumped on board early this month, with several aides tweeting out Dark Brandon images after a spate of good news for Biden:

Inside the White House, the towel-snapping Dark Brandon tweets were an expression of a changing mood after months and months of feeling besieged by coverage of Biden's lousy poll numbers, his struggles to tame inflation and the predilection among Beltway insiders for prematurely declaring Biden's political demise.

The president himself has seen some of the Dark Brandon memes and found them funny, according to several people close to him.

"The Dark Brandon memes are a light take on the fact that Biden actually has abilities and power that most elected officials don't --- and he wields it in his own way," said Greg Schultz, who led Biden's 2020 campaign through the Democratic primary and has occasionally been critical of the White House.

And they also served to mock the Extremely Online right, whose obsession with concepts like "memetic warfare" has indelibly shaped the political conversation in this country and beyond.

Most of all, the memes were a subtle reminder to the press that, collectively, it doesn't always get Biden right --- and that, in the view of his staff, the president is playing a long game that doesn't always jibe with the frenetic rhythms of the internet news cycle.

The president nodded to those sentiments on Tuesday during the signing ceremony for the Inflation Reduction Act. As Manchin stood behind him in the State Dining Room of the White House, hovering near the ceremonial desk used for such occasions, the president said, "Joe, I never had a doubt."

For now, a lot of this mood shift is still just what the Gen Z folks out there might call "vibes."

Biden's poll numbers have gone up, but not by much.

Tuesday's election results in Alaska and Wyoming suggest that Donald Trump remains the most potent force in Republican politics, and that --- as of today, at least --- he would enter a hypothetical 2024 rematch against Biden with his party solidly behind him.

Inflation may have peaked, but it remains at or near record highs, and it remains to be seen how actual voters will process the changing narrative in Washington come November. Republicans may yet win over significant numbers of centrist voters with their arguments on cultural issues like transgender rights or the teaching of race and gender in schools.

Biden's allies are painfully aware, too, of just how fickle the conversation around the president can be.

"I promise you," Schultz said. "In six months, a lot of the media and D.C. elite will be complaining about Biden again."

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this is literally peak “the left can’t meme” right? I didn’t read anything tho.

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There is a thread from just some days ago of redditoids sperging out at the meme that makes them look based, because the red eyes and dark X meme has origins in chan neo-nazi chud troll culture and wordswordswords :soyreddit:


Ok now that's kinda at least getting slightly edgy. Childsniffing Darkbrandon is a meme I can get on board with.

Not gonna lie I figured it was a shitty stale appropriation of an already dead meme, but it kinda grew on me, in a bizarre cutesy way. Probably because of the contrast between “J—just say fuck joe Biden! :soycry:” and full acceptance of Brandon as a meme, you really can’t deny the character progression. I thought they would be whining and sneeding about it for years.

“Based” has been ruined for quite a while now, at least I think sneed :marseysneed: will never get taken from us because it’s a quasi-esoteric meme with impenetrable layers.

At least, try to show the following video to a leftist (honestly any non-4chan or dramapilled person and get them to implicitly understand where the funny is:

I wonder if the 4chan jannies regret not wordfiltering "based" when it first started picking up traction.

As for Sneed, one day the Simpsons will reference the Sneed meme and the cycle will be complete.

If modern Simpsons references sneed, the meme will officially die

that's just how you get weeaboo though


I still dont get whats funny about sneed.

It grows on you. Watch it again in a week or two. Just associate “sneed” with “cope and seethe” whenever you read it. I see some people just translate it as straight “seethe” but it doesn’t pick up on the minute connotations.

Sneed's versatility is what gives it its staying power. It can mean anything, nothing, or even both at once. It perfectly encapsulates modern language's liberation from any discrete meaning.

Truspeak will come.

Ant the one word will be sneed

wild card i say

It isn’t funny and ur a loser for referencing the simpsons which the biggest L you could post.

This feels like the literary version of a youtube food reviewer reviewing a big mac

I really like “sneed.” I think sneeding is words words words that are trying to control how everyone else in the conversation thinks, and are failing, but at least make the sneeder feel better. It has some of the same energy as seething, but it’s aimed at others where seething is aimed within — so it’s a great thing to have a word for.


Sneeds feed and seed is a clever joke reminding people that democratic socialism wont work

The sign is a subtle joke. The shop is called "Sneed's Feed & Seed", where "feed" and "seed" both end in the sound "-eed", thus rhyming with the name of the owner, Sneed. The sign says that the shop was "Formerly Chuck's", implying that the two words beginning with "F" and "S" would have ended with "-uck", rhyming with "Chuck". So, when Chuck owned the shop, it would have been called "Chuck's Feeduck and Seeduck".

It’s one of those fun words that sounds the way it means, like Kiki and Bouba





Wh-why don’t they just say Chuck’s fuck and suck??? :marseyraging::marseyraging:

The Yugioh Abridged series is funnier then this teenage attempt at humor.

I like that series. Not that I find it hilarious, but you can telll the guy is putting effort in it and it makes for good background noise.

Its funnier if you watch the full show

This country deserves whatever it has coming to it.


not left, it is literally 'CIA can't meme'

-- Someone who couldn't get hired to mop the restrooms where the CIA's receptionists shit.

They're so fucking close to being funny, literally all they need to do is stop it with the wordswordswords and pearl clutching but that's basically impossible

No matter how hard you try, you can't make a career politician who's absolutely coddled by his country's own media into something cool.

You can't help yourself, can you?


Worse, it's also astroturfed by Dems to save Sleepy Joes approval ratings. At least when the GOP did it with Trump he looked based and fun.

it's also astroturfed by Dems to save Sleepy Joes approval ratings


At least when the GOP did it with Trump he looked based and fun.


I should've clarified, I meant all the 2016 stuff. I legit forgot that Dark MAGA was a thing lol

Dark MAGA died in like two weeks lmao.

I unironically forgot :marseyxd:

Inside the White House, the vibe is shifting, even if the polls have not budged much.

it's so funny how much these out of touch reddit boomers and their ilk in journ*lism can turn to memes that are semi-ironic and go "look, supporting a geriatric warmongering racist is cool!"

It's so weird because you have people constantly going "I don't worship biden i was just voting because I didn't like trump", then turning around and then worshipping him and finding victory that people are making memes about him. So strange. It's not like DDR is cool with the kids either but I guess at least he's funny/r-slurred enough in a vaccuum to zoomers to be able to be used in memes that arent literally astroturfed like the Penguins of Madagascar one

Nobody was using dark maga nobody was using dark brandon this is completely made up by left wing media. Its kinda funny portraying biden as a demon though

>look, supporting a geriatric warmongering racist is cool!

It is cool. It's just that their audience is too dumb to realize it.

Reported by:

  • Impassionata: in a post ironic world, all expression is genuine

The best memes supporting Biden are all rightoid creations, sad to see.


It's so weird because you have people constantly going "I don't worship biden i was just voting because I didn't like trump", then turning around and then worshipping him and finding victory that people are making memes about him.

As far as I can tell, the people pushing these memes are the people who genuinely voted for Biden, not those who voted for him because Trump was a fat narcissistic failure of a president. These are the same idiots who try to paper over commonly-held definitions of "recession" and claiming that the Democrats' energy policies over the past decade did not contribute to rising gas prices.


This one would be funny if they used anything other than literal babies.

:#soycry: for example

Alright, that one is a bit funny.


pushing these memes are the people who genuinely voted for Biden, not those who voted for him because Trump was a fat narcissistic failure of a president.

thats my point. group 1 pretends to be group 2 constantly. thats what the whole backlash to LGB is about. group 2 doesnt care about that slogan or maybe sometimes used it near the start but group 1 literally thinks it's vulgar

Ah, I see your point now.


Trump being capable of jokes that are genuine, however r-slurred they are, is the obvious difference from this astroturfed fellow kids slop


Honestly you've lost me here. The leftoid "Reagan was a warmonger" bullshit is r-slurred but at least I know what shreds of evidence they'd point to. This I'm just not schizophrenic enough to imagine. Is it because he killed Zawahiri and that's bad because al-Qaeda didn't do 9-11? Or something about the war in Ukraine that the USA didn't start, tried to prevent, and is not a combatant in?

tried to prevent


Even kissinger doesn't think so lmfao, have some shame.


Maybe it's because Kissinger is really not such a genius? What the fuck did he ever accomplish? He happened to be around when the ChiComs were about to get their shit kicked in by the Soviets and came begging us for help. Wow. I could have done that.

He was a total failure in everything else. The situation in the Middle East turned dramatically against the US with the 1973 war. Vietnam and Cambodia were thrown away. There was idiotic meddling in Chile that served no purpose other than to fuel conspiracy theories. Supporting Pakistan in 1971 is one of the most shameful things in American foreign policy and got us absolutely nothing. And especially relevant, there was the naive policy of detente, hoping that the Soviets were serious about "peaceful coexistence" even though their Marxist jihadi religion insists on our destruction. It wasn't until Carter and Brzenski were in office that this soft-on-communism policy was replaced with some actual realpolitik.

Don't even get me fucking started on him... :marseyraging:

I think cooperating with China was itself a pretty big deal considering you were at war with them like two decades back though? I'm sure the split between china and soviet camps in international communism also helped in that grand strategy of containment bit.

Middle East

:marseyconfused: 1973 was pretty good for America though it pretty much paved the way for a peace with honour(and defection to NATO) for Egypt, impressed the reality of their fairly weak position on the Israelis and also was a proxy win over the Soviets. Oil embargo sucked economically but westoids are embargoing themselves similarly now so :marseyshrug: it couldn't have sucked that much.

Detente with soviets didn't mean ceasing the policy of containment, don't most leftoids hate him cause he sponsored right wing death squads :chadlatino: The soviets had gorbachev like 10 years after kissinger I doubt they were very serious about globocommunism at that point. The militarism of the lenin/stalin years was probably gone by the 60s.

Pakistan was a big fat :marseyl: I agree but I don't think amerikkka really had much choice there lol Mujibur was openly pro Soviet and Pakistan splitting in half made India pretty much the subcontinental hegemon, it makes sense to try to prevent that considering India/Soviet relations even if the Pakis were doing a genocide. Its interesting, I was reading this book by a paki journo and he claimed amerikkka armed them in the 50s and 60s to use them as cannon fodder for wars of containment against communism, like in Vietnam. Ofc they ended up wrecking that army against us in 1965 but I wonder if that potential weighed on strategists even later, you don't find a nation of 200 million suicidal r-slurs everywhere after all. Much as I hate them I do admire their spirit, fuckers still want to fight us when Mumbai's GDP alone is larger than their entire failed state's.

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Bombing Somalia was pretty bad


"look, supporting a geriatric warmongering racist is cool!"

But enough about Trump supporters

Yea thats my point too. Its literal horseshoe law

How was trump a warmonger?

Google it

Not even /r/politics is buying it wich is really fucking funny

Some checks to the shill farms must've bounced.

Yeah trying to force a lame meme is more /r/politicalhumor's speed

dark brandon glows too hard

isnt dark brandon rightoids making meme about biden orchestrating roe v wade shit and stuff

Giving someone glowing red eyes usually is indicating they are mass genociding people which fits biden somewhat


Glowing red eyes is usually indicative of demonic powers


That, and CCP seething about Biden, even had its shill drew a few political cartoons that made him look menacing.

This gets the rightoids and the commies seething, so I'm cool with it.

>Maybe its just me, but fucking memes should not make you support a political candidate more or less.

The transference of culture via images, vocal words, music, human interaction and everything else shouldn't exist

Also this post is too long





>du jour


:brainletchair: Henceworth, lavishing all among the hallowed halls within your humble servant's alma matter - not unlhilst Soljeniezin auf exile! - I resign myself upon aforementioned words once revered by the esteemed doctores whost belonged inst-peonage toward (and onward) Touver Aevorie.

(which is completely walled off from the news operation, where I work)

"I swear, I'm not one of the rich becastled chuds!"

My favorite Dark Brandon moment was when he drone striked that aid worker and his kids



Exactly. What I want from a president is a leader who will notice some O-6 level military intelligence analyst making the wrong call in a crisis situation and overrule them with his omniscient knowledge.

First time I ever saw a Dark Brandon meme was in some journo content, smells fake to me

Beyond Dark Brandon (which is a very tame meme, but not really theleftcantmeme-level material), I have been thinking a bit about the boomerization of right wing corners of the internet.

Right around October 2016, the Fox News boomers showed up to post Pepperidge Farm image macros and unironically deep fried jpgs of the cowboy from The Big Lebowski. Now all those forums are wastelands of Trump Enslavement Syndrome boomers, hugely unfunny and impotently fixated on immiserating their countless enemies. There’s a sense that the meme economy has paused for breath, and that something new is just over the horizon. For now, all this stuff is just the dust left over from a distant blast.

It's been like 20 years and journos still fail to properly capitalize 4chan.

This has been the most astroturfed shit in history

First off, son, I’m way too smart to go to prison for punching Nazis. I punch, knock ‘em out and then walk away, leaving them for the cops and they end up arrested, not me.

Now, if I did end up in prison somehow, my philosophy would still hold true. Go up to an Aryan Brotherhood member, punch ‘em in the face. After a while, word would get around about my Nazi punching skills and i would be what they call in prison a “shot caller.” Nothing happens in the yard without my say so.

Son, you have to believe in your own skill set and understand it will take you far. I’ve spent years honing my Nazi punching skills and I’m unstoppable.

I hope you’ve learned a little something today.



a Biden adviser vented to Ryan Lizza:

Rodney Dangerfield-esque:

in a sit-down interview with the editorial board of this newspaper:

both Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar:

released a video:

fed in advance to The Washington Post:

sites that track such things:

TV commentator's mischaracterization of what the crowd at a NASCAR race was saying:

the "Dark MAGA" meme:

The White House jumped on board:

Inflation Reduction Act:

signed the bill into law:

Congress passed the CHIPS Act:

matched a 50-year-low:

Rodney Dangerfield-esque:

what an insult to rodney :(

So many loser rightoids coping and seething in this thread :wolfrofl::wolfrofl:


The USSR’s two greatest mistakes: educating Ayn Rand and treating Solzhenitsyn’s cancer.


Good God this is embarrassing. Fuck libertarian Peter and his handlers









They are pretty clever and paint Joe is a powerful light



>Dark Whatever

Did they even wait a week before they jacked Dark Maga?


Dork brandon