The merch machine rolls quickly over at Joe Biden campaign HQ, where it's churned out a T-shirt commemorating one of Biden's many exasperated quips toward Donald Trump from last night's debate.
Twenty minutes into what CNN described as a "shitshow," Biden responded to Trump's incessant interruptions by saying, "Will you shut up, man?" That quote has been slapped onto an image of Trump's face for the new tee, which is already on sale on Biden's webstore for $30. While not as good as the moment when Biden said, "You can't get in a word with this clown," the shirt succinctly invokes what it felt like to watch last night's debate — and live in America for the past four years.
What do we want from Biden merch (if we want it all)? — Besides baring a satisfying quote, the T-shirt is not "good" by any means. It's garden variety campaign design on a cheap cotton slate, and even if you were to pick it up, you'd be unlikely to wear it past November.
The Biden campaign has tried its hand at "cool" merch by enlisting Joe Perez for a tie-dye, Online Ceramics-esque T-shirt along with a crop of other fashion designers. That too had its own follies as it adopted counterculture imagery for a relentlessly centric political candidate.
It begs the question of whether we need Biden merch to be stylish or even exist at all. I'm not alone in my tepid enthusiasm for Biden, which cannot rise to the level of wearing that man's name on my person. I'll cast my ballot for Biden in a bid to, as Patagonia put it, "vote the assholes out," but I don't need apparel to celebrate this begrudging arrangement for marginal political gains as a solution attractive only as an alternative to fascism.
Maybe you still like the tee? — Then head over to Biden's site, where you can scoop up the T-shirt and possibly have it in time for the next debate (shipping will commence within 14 days). At the very least, it's a means to funneling money to Trump's opposition and voting the clown out of office. God willing, Trump's departure from office will quickly make the tee a relic.