Bernie Sanders Looking Sad on the Capitol Steps Inspires Viral Meme

Bernie Sanders Looking Sad on the Capitol Steps Inspires Viral Meme

Bernie Sanders is an internet sensation again.

Just for some context, the extremely memeable senator was in Washington D.C. this past Sunday in order to debate Democratic President Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act, a $740 billion spending package to address climate change, taxes and healthcare. But even so, Sanders still had some legitimate critiques of the legislation during the 15-hour "Vote-a-Rama" session, where he argued that it would have a "minimal impact on inflation" and also ignores integral issues such as income inequality, childhood poverty and the health care system.

Unfortunately, the beloved Vermont representative was ultimately unable to sway his fellow senators into voting for his proposed amendments to the bill, which is expected to be passed by the House of Representatives. So like anyone who spent all night advocating for something that will deeply impact every American's life, a solemn-looking Sanders decided to help his obvious exhaustion during the 13th hour of debate by sitting down on the Capitol steps — a moment that ended up being captured by Los Angeles Times photojournalist Kent Nishimura.

However, the internet still couldn't help but turn the serious shot into a viral meme, with photographer Clayton Cubitt saying the 80-year-old resembled "Bill," or the downtrodden piece of legislation from Schoolhouse Rock's iconic "I'm Just a Bill" sketch. And naturally, this led to a million other memes that involved everything from the infamous Joker stairs to the senator's forthcoming mixtape, hopefully featuring a "diss track" about our broken two-party political system.

Granted, this isn't the first time social media has turned Sanders into a pop culture icon through things like the #HotGirlsForBernie movement, as well as the onslaught of memes spurred by that one photo of the progressive politician at Biden's inauguration, looking extremely cozy and warm outfitted in a gray jacket, blue mask and a painfully adorable pair of mittens. Talk about a simpler time.

Photo via Getty / Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times