We really shouldn’t need a court to rule on this, but okay.
A GOP lawmaker wanted to be listed as “Let’s Go Brandon” on the ballot. A judge said no.
Time to Log Off is a weekly series documenting the many ways our political figures show their whole asses online.
First, the good news: A Colorado court on this week ruled that a Republican state senator and aspiring United States congressman cannot be listed on the ballot as “Dave ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Williams,” affirming that Secretary of State Jena Griswold was perfectly within her legal rights to nix Williams’s attempt at using the conservative meme as his official nickname at the polls.
The bad news, unfortunately, is that Williams has vowed to continue to fight for his right to be permanently identified to the voting public as an unbelievably lame catchphrase, telling a local NBC affiliate that “if the Colorado Supreme Court doesn't hear this appeal then they are derelict in their duty and lawmakers should remove their salaries or move to term them out of office without delay.” (I’m pretty sure that’s not how, uh, the judicial system works, but, okay dude, rage away.)
A few things to note here: Yes, Williams does indeed use “Let’s Go Brandon” as a mealy-mouthed nickname on his various social media accounts, and Colorado law does, in fact, allow for candidates to be listed on ballots using nicknames under certain circumstances. In an email to The Washington Post, Griswold celebrated the ruling as an affirmation that “the content of the ballot is not a place for political gamesmanship,” which is some bitter irony for ya, isn’t it?
The real issue here, however, is that “Let’s Go Brandon” as a shibboleth sucks. It’s embarrassing. It’s sophomoric and dumb, and not in the good way. If conservatives really believed in the quality of their convictions regarding fuck Joe Biden, then they’d just say “fuck Joe Biden” and not play around with this secret decoder ring bullshit. And however lame it is as a rallying cry, it’s all the more lame that Williams not only wants to use it as the basis for his public persona, but wants to use it as the basis for his electoral persona, as well. What, exactly, does that tell you about the sort of person — and politician — he intends to be? A career in public service predicated on a meme is hardly an inspiring prospect.
Indeed, choosing, as Williams seems to be, to spend time and money and energy on the “right” to run a meme-based candidacy is a sign of just how deeply the rot of right-wing internet poisoning has seeped into the IRL mechanics of the electoral process. And if that’s not a sign that it’s time to log off and touch some grass, then I don’t know what is.