‘Let’s Go Brandon’ And The Linguistic Jiujitsu Of American Politics

This article is part of TPM Cafe, TPM’s home for opinion and news analysis. It first appeared at The Conversation.

During an interview with NASCAR driver Brandon Brown on Oct. 2, 2021, NBC sportscaster Kelli Stavast made a curious observation. She reported that Talladega Superspeedway spectators were chanting “Let’s go Brandon” to celebrate the racing driver’s first Xfinity Series win.

In reality, however, the crowd was shouting a very different phrase: “F–k Joe Biden,” a taunt that had become popular at college football games earlier in the fall.