Kinzinger Shames GOP For ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ X-Mas Prank

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Even as a Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) is clearly among those fed up with the current direction of the GOP. This weekend, Kinzinger joined those speaking out regarding a quickly viral incident in which an Oregon resident named Jared Schmeck blurted out “Let’s go Brandon” to the Bidens during a livestreamed phone conversation on Christmas Eve. The phrase has been used by conservatives as a stand-in for “F*ck Joe Biden,” since apparently they’re too immature to hold levelheaded discussions regarding what they’re so concerned about. Kinzinger went after Republican leaders for their seeming acceptance of nonsense like Schmeck’s stunt.

The original incident unfolded during a call that the Schmeck family placed into the NORAD Santa tracker — and predictably, considering the consistently present victim complex on the Right, Schmeck has complained amid backlash for his remark that he is now “being attacked for utilizing my freedom of speech.” As The Oregonian explained things, he also distanced himself from the “vulgar meaning” for the “Let’s go Brandon” phrase… although without that background, the phrase doesn’t really have any meaning that’s remotely relevant to a conversation with the president of the United States, so that defense fails. Kinzinger, meanwhile, commented as follows, referring to the Schmeck incident:

‘About 5 minutes ago, the GOP would have thought this was disrespectful and outrageous. When you can’t even unplug from politics on Christmas Eve for the friggin Santa tracker, you are in too deep.’

The original episode was just another example of the division that has come to define so much of the American political landscape, thanks in large part, of course, to Donald Trump. Of course, fostering divisiveness could be considered an understatement regarding what he’s done — refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of his successor’s election victory to the point of inspiring an attack on the Capitol that was meant to stop the certification of that victory is an insurmountably terrible offense. More recently, and apart from that, Trump has continued to stick by his petty political messaging — in his Christmas Day message, he pledged that he and his supporters “will Make America Great Again!” — failing to acknowledge the seemingly greatness-indicating economic indicators that have emerged recently, like falling unemployment.