Batten Down the Hatches—Dark Brandon Is Coming Back!

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Cover the windows, batten down the hatches, and gird your loins because Joe Biden said on Sunday during a rally in Philadelphia that “Dark Brandon” is set for a sequel. If you remember, the Dark Brandon meme started on the internet early in the Biden administration and Team Joe tried to use it to his advantage to tout the president’s achievements. 

Remember this malarkey?

Well, unfortunately for us all, Biden evidently thought it was effective enough that it needs to be resurrected:

“Dark Brandon is coming back,” he joked to one supporter in Harrisburg who asked him about the meme, one that developed into a unifying force to fight off concerns about Biden’s age early in his campaign. [Yeah, not so much.]

While he faces increasing calls from members of Congress to leave the campaign after a faltering debate performance last month, Biden said he hasn’t seen the same response from voters.

“We’ve been drawing big crowds. Ever since the debate, not joking, even that night we had big crowds afterwards,” Biden said.

Biden’s Philadelphia trip went about as well as can be expected:

Biden Displays Scary Look During Visit to Black Church, and What the Bishop Said Is Raising Eyebrows

The Comeback Begins As a Confused, Rambling Joe Biden Wanders Around Pennsylvania

Does Biden know that the “Brandon” part of the meme originates from the famous “Let’s Go Brandon” hilarity, where the audience at a 2021 NASCAR race was chanting a profane anti-Biden sentiment, and the announcer pretended (or possibly misheard), claiming they were cheering on the winner of the event, Brandon Brown? “Let’s Go Brandon” became a conservative slogan that still sums up many Republicans’ sentiments to this day. (I am the proud owner of a “Let’s Go Brandon” T-shirt, for instance.)

The “dark” part of the name also has some not-so-flattering origins:

On Nov. 14, 2020 — just one week after Biden won the 2020 election — Chinese illustrator Yang Quan uploaded several images to Weibo depicting the 46th president as evil, presiding over zombie-looking creatures on a throne seemingly made of assault weapons, according to Politico. The first image in the set is the same illustration that Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, 49, would later post on Twitter, now called X.

“The sleeping king ascends the throne, the devil is resurrected,” reads the Chinese caption of one of the images, according to Politico.

Sounds about right.

Some, however, attribute the use of the word “dark” to a Donald Trump meme:

Meanwhile, Dark Brandon also owes part of his name to “Dark MAGA,” a hashtag and group of memes that “depict a ‘punished,’ more unhinged version of Donald Trump running for reelection in 2024 who has abandoned all optics, replacing his slogan MAGA with ‘Dark MAGA,'” according to online meme encyclopedia Know Your Meme.

Whatever the origin of the cringe-inducing meme, giving it new life would further show the desperation of Team Biden’s team as they try to salvage his crumbling campaign. The reason it’s so dumb in my opinion is because it unintentionally highlights the contrast between the vigorous (though evil)- looking guy with lasers in his eyes and the black-eyed, vacant-looking commander-in-chief that we saw on the debate stage (and elsewhere). 

They haven’t offered me a position on the campaign staff yet, but if I were hired, I’d tell them to shelve this ridiculous meme and all that comes with it and pretend it never happened.

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