December 29, 2021
A US military base in Alaska has updated its guidelines regarding goods allowed to be sold on its grounds, after a vendor plied anti-Biden figurines to personnel.
A vendor temporarily working on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska had been selling miniature wooden statuettes deriding the president, according to local media. The figurines reportedly depicted a bear with some characteristically Trumpesque features, such as a shock of yellow hair and a long red tie, holding a sign reading “Let’s Go Brandon” – a phrase that has come to stand for “F**k Joe Biden.”
The phrase in question was first uttered at a NASCAR race in early October by an NBC reporter, who said he thought the spectators were cheering one of the drivers, Brandon Brown, when, in fact, the crowd was chanting expletives directed at Joe Biden. The slogan has since gained traction among critics of the incumbent US president.
The sale of such goods did not go unnoticed by officials, however, who swiftly updated the base’s guidelines on what items can and cannot be sold on military property. The Army & Air Force Exchange Service – a body tasked with overseeing the quality of goods and services sold on US military bases, both at home and overseas – deemed the bear figurines to “be outside the established parameters for resale.” Speaking to a local newspaper, a base representative said, “communication to incoming vendors will reflect the need to exclude products of this nature going forward.”
The vendor who had been selling the controversial statuettes had left the base by the time officials discovered the offending items and took action, as he was on a short-term contract.
The US Defense Department’s 2020 guidelines prohibit active-duty service members from overtly supporting politicians, causes, and campaigns lest the military become divided along partisan lines.