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HOUSTON — Over the weekend, a pilot on a Southwest Airlines flight from Houston to Albuquerque, N.M., became the latest lightning rod for Twitter bluechecks and legacy media talking heads alike after committing the high crime of saying “let’s go, Brandon” over the plane’s intercom.
“Let’s go, Brandon,” a euphemism for “f— Joe Biden,” has become something of a meme in conservative circles. Chants of the latter became commonplace at stadium events nationwide over the past few months, including at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Ala., where an NBC Sports reporter interviewing NASCAR driver Brandon Brown mistook the chant for “let’s go, Brandon.” The gaffe made the rounds on social media — and, for whatever reason, it stuck, and “let’s go, Brandon” turned itself into a right-wing in-joke overnight
It’s quite plainly a stupid, harmless, and tongue-in-cheek jab at an unpopular president during a time of widespread political discord. But, hilariously enough, in reporting on it, leftists in the media seem to think they’ve cracked some nefarious Trumpian code designed to undermine the Biden administration.
For example, CNN’s Chris Cillizza breathlessly reports:
If you follow Donald Trump Jr. or any of the other lesser luminaries in the orbit of former President Donald Trump, you have seen their social media feeds full of these mock “Let’s Go Brandon” cheers of late. Florida Rep. Bill Posey ended a speech on the House floor late last month with the phrase. South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan wore a mask on the House floor emblazoned with it as well. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has said it’s “one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.” There’s now a “Let’s Go Brandon” song and a “Let’s Go Brandon” dance.
So, how the heck did we get here?
The rapid rise in popularity of the phrase amounts to a sort of verbal secret handshake, a way for those deeply opposed to Joe Biden’s presidency to identify other members of their tribe. It’s become the PG-rated version of the expletive-laced chant heard at Talladega (and lots of other sporting events) over the past few months.
Meanwhile, Colleen Long of The Associated Press, who happened to be drafting a piece titled “How ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ became code for insulting Joe Biden” while aboard the flight on which the unspeakably evil phrase was uttered, claimed on Twitter to have insisted that flight attendants allow her access to the cockpit so she could demand a comment from the pilot.
Colleen Long on Twitter: “TFW you’re trying to go on vacation and then the pilot says the very thing you’re working on over the loud speaker and you have to try to get him comment but then almost get removed from plane. https://t.co/xZI5FtLzJB / Twitter”
TFW you’re trying to go on vacation and then the pilot says the very thing you’re working on over the loud speaker and you have to try to get him comment but then almost get removed from plane. https://t.co/xZI5FtLzJB
The result was one of the most riveting pieces of political journalism our generation has seen. Woodward and Bernstein, quite frankly, pale in comparison to Colleen Long.
Twitter — a perpetual source of boundless insight by America’s top political intelligentsia — took things a step further. Countless users surmise “let’s go, Brandon” to be something that’s really, really scary, and that it ought to be taken extremely seriously. This pilot, whose name remains unknown, is presumably a Trump-worshipping, conspiracy theory-peddling ideologue and, as such, lacks the mental stability to perform the duties of his job.
Of course, that’s patently insane. What’s more likely is that this is a byproduct of the left’s widespread inclination to use their institutional power to cudgel people who say things that they don’t like into silence.
The reason Robert De Niro could say “f— Donald Trump” three years ago to thunderous applause from a theater packed with the same people whose hearts now palpitate as they break into a cold sweat over “let’s go Brandon” is simple, as it’s the same rationale the left uses to justify most of their insane, intellectually thuggish rhetoric. They openly think they’re better than you, because their policy convictions render them so virtuous that opposition to them must inherently render one morally inferior. Therefore, not only is demeaning the right morally justifiable, it is morally imperative that they do so.
On the contrary, jeering at Democrats is treated as insubordination and as defiance of one’s moral betters. That’s why something as innocuous as “let’s go, Brandon” is met with such vitriol from the left. If you do not fall in line with them politically, they don’t view you as wrong — they view you as evil. And because you are evil, they can go after you with impunity whilst simultaneously labeling you an aggressor for saying anything about it.
“Let’s go, Brandon,” in a sense, is symptomatic of conservative frustration with this very concept — demands of respect from the same party that seethes at the fact that they exist. And so long as the left play into their rehearsed, self-righteous indignance, they’re going to get dragged for it.
And “let’s go, Brandon,” of course, will continue to be a thing.
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