Nona Willis Aronowitz explains the “Thanks, Obama” meme writing at Medium:
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Barack Obama, slumped like a sullen teen, attempts to dunk a cookie in milk, only to realize with chagrin that the edges scrape haplessly against the cup’s rim. His snack game thwarted, the president mutters with a click of his teeth:
These few seconds of a Buzzfeed video, which has been viewed more than 55 million times since February, signaled the moment when the one of the most malleable, morally complex political memes of our time arrived at its logical conclusion. It was a meta, sarcastic take on a phrase whose very humor and power lies in sarcasm, uttered by the very man it seeks to either lambast or defend, depending on whom you voted for. The “Thanks, Obama” meme was first used six years ago, and has ricocheted from deep-red backchannels to liberal talk shows and back again: in an Instagram caption for a shattered beer bottle, in a Facebook post from an incensed conservative, in a nonsensical, racist Reddit post, in a tweet from a teenage boozehound bemoaning her underage status.