“Let’s go Brandon” is not the sick burn Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) thinks it is. If someone wants to say “Fuck Joe Biden” (which is the “secret” meaning of the phrase) then they should come out and say it. Especially after the last presidency, where people were yelling “Fuck Donald Trump” at seemingly every opportunity (it even became the title of a popular hip-hop song), the impact of “Let’s go Brandon” fails to meet the hype its right-wing proponents want.
Hearing someone say those three words sort of has the effect of a youth leader rewriting the words to a rap song to promote abstinence. It’s cringey, ridiculous, and makes you wish one of our many compounding extinction crises would just hurry up and take us all, now.
I do not know one single Democrat or progressive who is actually offended by the words “Let’s go Brandon” stamped onto the back of a dress Rep. Lauren Boebert wore to Mar-a-Lago on Thursday. I think we’re more sketched out by the fact that she’s cozy with militia groups like the Oath Keepers, actively cheered on insurrectionists on January 6, or that she voted against passing the Violence Against Women Act. Anyway, here she is next to the 45th president wearing a crimson red peplum dress blazed with the GOP’s phrase of the moment.
“It’s not a phrase, it’s a movement,” Boebert clarified on Twitter. The dress is, of course, a direct rebuttal to the one worn by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to the Met Gala, designed by Aurora James of Brother Vellies. It read “Tax the Rich,” and was supposed to be a take-down of the wealthy, famous folks who attended the invite-only event, where tables cost up to $300,000. But with Black Lives Matter protesters gathering outside, getting arrested and putting their literal bodies on the line for that cause, AOC’s sassy dress felt shallow to many.
And then there was the item of clothing where this all weird sloganeering began: Melania Trump’s “I really don’t care, do u” jacket worn on a trip to a child migrant detention center in Texas in June 2018. Singer Joy Villa turned up at the Grammys in visibly pro-Trump garb, while Jill Biden seemed to be responding to Melania earlier this year when she wore a jacket emblazoned with “Love” on its back, ahead of the start of the G7 in Britain.
And now here is Boebert, looking like a prom villain with her cheugy bridesmaid’s bun and sorority sister over-the-shoulder pose. I’m not sure why everyone loves the Dr. Seuss font for these types of dresses, but seeing “Let’s Go Brandon” scrawled in a childish font serves this extremely dumb phrase very well. This is not fashion, it is wearable Twitter drama.
Have we reached a point where fashion will just become a back-and-forth of dresses with text on the back of them, with vague platitudes and inside barbs traded back and forth between political parties? Please, no. Is it possible to miss the days of Ivanka Trump wearing a glittery gown?
She may have been part of an administration attempting to steamroll democracy to death, but at least she treated all that hideousness like a beauty pageant. Boebert, meanwhile, is just going crazy with a Sharpie. Please, no one give Boebert another Sharpie ever again. We cannot have more of these dresses.
One silver lining: Boebert did not accessorize the visual poison she wore to Mar-a-Lago with a gigantic gun, as she is known to do in other situations. (She owns the Colorado bar Shooters Grill, where wait staff carry around guns, for reasons I’ve still yet to understand other than, “America.”) So I guess we can be thankful for the little things.